NEWS Study highlights agri-ecology methods to safeguard UK food security

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It found that agroecology – food production that makes the best use of nature’s goods and services while not damaging precious resources – can help maintain agricultural productivity.

The researchers reviewed evidence for agroecological practices including processes that maintain closed cycles, using on-farm resources to limit inputs and reduce waste.

They also studied the use of legumes (peas, beans, etc.) for enhancing soil fertility, cover crops, minimum tillage, the use of beneficial insects to control pests and agroforestry.

The new study was commissioned by the inter-agency Land Use Policy Group (LUPG) and funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and Natural Resources Wales.

It was undertaken by the Organic Research Centre with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

It found that:

  • Productivity can be maintained, or even increased in some cases, although in organic farming yields might reduce – though more human labour can create employment;
  • Agroecological practices and systems can contribute to greater energy efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Business profits can be maintained or increased through more efficient input use;
  • Natural resources which support agricultural production, like soil, water and biodiversity, can be nurtured.

You can download the full report here

 2015 AgroEcology and Sustainable Intensification 

Published date: 17 Aug 2015
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