Research Topic

Labor Requirements of Alternative Land Use Systems, and the Impacts on Livelihoods

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About this Research Topic

Projections indicate that food production may need to increase by 60% by 2050 to meet the food requirements of a growing global population. However, conventional forms of agriculture are often unsustainable and global croplands are increasingly impacted by soil erosion, reduced fertility, and/or overgrazing. As populations grow and food demand increases, pressure on land resources is expected to rise and make lands more vulnerable to degradation. Namely, further increases in the use of fertilizers and pesticides for expanding food production may cause excessive nutrient loading in soils, leading to eutrophication and declining soil fertility.

To balance food needs and environmental sustainability, we must invest in applicable solutions that are transformative, and can be scaled up. A variety of alternative land use practices that preserve soil fertility, reduce the overall environmental impact of agriculture, and enhance the economic value of agricultural production are being explored and developed. Labor is a critical factor of production, especially in alternative land use systems, and hence the requirement, pattern and intensity of labor use is of interest not only from an economic perspective, but also from the viewpoints of agronomic production; food security; income and employment; and livelihood and labor justice.

This Research Topic will focus on labor requirements and livelihood impacts of alternative land use systems. Papers are sought from a broad spectrum of scholars who undertake research at local, regional or global scale in the following areas:

- Analysis of labor requirements of alternative of land use systems; The role of various forms of labor arrangements including contract labor, shared cropping, communal labor and self-help organizations in alternative land use systems and their implication on wealth distribution

- Technical efficiency and labor productivity of alternative land use systems; Labor requirements for soil conservation in alternative land use systems; the relative labor requirements and advantages of agroforestry systems over arable crop farming

- Financial inclusion and employment in alternative land use systems; Women involvement and empowerment in alternative land use systems; addressing justice and equity issues, including labor exploitation of minorities in the entire food chain

- Value chain management; labor requirement in processing of farm products from alternative land use systems

- Crop diversification, off-farm employment and alternative land use systems; Economic analysis of returns on investment from alternative land use systems

- Climate change, alternative land use systems and their implications on the welfare of the farmers; Impact of alternative land use systems on drought prevention, income of the farmers and food security coping mechanisms

- Labor and capital intensities and their impact on livelihoods in alternative land use systems; labor constraints, child labor and food security in alternative land use systems


Keywords: Labor, Alternative land use systems, Livelihoods, Food production, Growing populations, Conventional agriculture change, Soil erosion, Soil fertility, Land degradation, Eutrophication, Environmental sustainability, Land use, Agricultural impact, Labor use, Food security, Income & employment, Labor justice, Equality, Climate change, Farmer welfare, Coping mechanisms


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Projections indicate that food production may need to increase by 60% by 2050 to meet the food requirements of a growing global population. However, conventional forms of agriculture are often unsustainable and global croplands are increasingly impacted by soil erosion, reduced fertility, and/or overgrazing. As populations grow and food demand increases, pressure on land resources is expected to rise and make lands more vulnerable to degradation. Namely, further increases in the use of fertilizers and pesticides for expanding food production may cause excessive nutrient loading in soils, leading to eutrophication and declining soil fertility.

To balance food needs and environmental sustainability, we must invest in applicable solutions that are transformative, and can be scaled up. A variety of alternative land use practices that preserve soil fertility, reduce the overall environmental impact of agriculture, and enhance the economic value of agricultural production are being explored and developed. Labor is a critical factor of production, especially in alternative land use systems, and hence the requirement, pattern and intensity of labor use is of interest not only from an economic perspective, but also from the viewpoints of agronomic production; food security; income and employment; and livelihood and labor justice.

This Research Topic will focus on labor requirements and livelihood impacts of alternative land use systems. Papers are sought from a broad spectrum of scholars who undertake research at local, regional or global scale in the following areas:

- Analysis of labor requirements of alternative of land use systems; The role of various forms of labor arrangements including contract labor, shared cropping, communal labor and self-help organizations in alternative land use systems and their implication on wealth distribution

- Technical efficiency and labor productivity of alternative land use systems; Labor requirements for soil conservation in alternative land use systems; the relative labor requirements and advantages of agroforestry systems over arable crop farming

- Financial inclusion and employment in alternative land use systems; Women involvement and empowerment in alternative land use systems; addressing justice and equity issues, including labor exploitation of minorities in the entire food chain

- Value chain management; labor requirement in processing of farm products from alternative land use systems

- Crop diversification, off-farm employment and alternative land use systems; Economic analysis of returns on investment from alternative land use systems

- Climate change, alternative land use systems and their implications on the welfare of the farmers; Impact of alternative land use systems on drought prevention, income of the farmers and food security coping mechanisms

- Labor and capital intensities and their impact on livelihoods in alternative land use systems; labor constraints, child labor and food security in alternative land use systems


Keywords: Labor, Alternative land use systems, Livelihoods, Food production, Growing populations, Conventional agriculture change, Soil erosion, Soil fertility, Land degradation, Eutrophication, Environmental sustainability, Land use, Agricultural impact, Labor use, Food security, Income & employment, Labor justice, Equality, Climate change, Farmer welfare, Coping mechanisms


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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