About this Research Topic
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal SDG 2 aims to ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’. In particular, SDG 2.4 aims to ‘ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality’.
As we move forward to meet the challenge of feeding 9.6 billion people by 2050, trade-offs between agricultural productivity and environmental conservation are going to intensify. Nearly 11% of the world population is undernourished, largely in the developing parts of the world where agricultural systems are characterized by smallholders and weak institutional and pricing structures. Increasing food demands are thereby met with either intensive efforts to increase yields or to expand agricultural crop land. On the other hand, agricultural yields are projected to decrease in the next decades in most of world regions due to climate change impacts such as droughts, soil desertification, floods, sea level rise and soil salinization that might also interact with an increased frequency of diseases and pathogens in crop and livestock production. Increasing agricultural productivity to solve some of these problems has a direct impact on the natural resource base such as soil and water. To name a few, land use conversion releases GHG gases contributing to climate change, intensive input use leads to nitrate contamination of water, poor soil health and other degradation issues, deforestation leads to species loss and low climate mitigation, and irrigated agriculture leads to groundwater depletion.
In this Research Topic we welcome articles that address a deeper understanding of the inter-linkages and potential solutions for achieving pathways for meeting increasing food demand through improved agricultural processes that can co-exist with environmental conservation objectives, especially as envisaged under the SDGs 2/2.4. The articles can be Original Research, Systematic Reviews, Reviews, Perspectives, and Policy and Practice Reviews.
Researchers from the fields of agricultural and ecological economics, agricultural and socio-ecological systems, policy studies, environmental modelling and management are encouraged to submit articles that analyse these trade-offs between the food security, agricultural productivity and environmental goals. We welcome studies which address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- Food demand, environmental impacts and climate change;
- Agricultural productivity and natural resource base;
- Sustainable and conservation agriculture;
- Sustainable intensification and climate smart agriculture; and
- Agricultural land use change and policy.
Keywords: food demand, sustainable development goals, agricultural productivity, sustainable agriculture, climate smart agriculture, land use change
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.