The research and development community should focus more effort on reintegrating food production and conservation in smallholder-managed landscapes. The interpretation of sustainable intensification appears to differ considerably depending on the program, but invariably it involves the goal of producing more food without clearing new areas of natural vegetation or further degrading the environment. Doubts about an overemphasis on sustainable intensification are fueled by empirical evidence that does not always support the seemingly logical notion that increased production per unit area will spare natural ecosystems, including forests, from further encroachment and conversion. Solutions to the apparently complex and multiple reasons why the Green Revolution bypassed some of the poorest regions of, for example, sub-Saharan Africa continue to confound those who have attempted to raise yields and benefits for local producers in such areas. Producers continue to be challenged by the high costs and unreliable availability of the inputs required and the limited capacity of government extension agencies.
Author: Padoch, C.; Sunderland, T.C.H.