Reaping the benefits: Science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture

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Abstract or Summary

Food security is an urgent challenge. It is a global problem that is set to worsen with current trends of population,
consumption, climate change and resource scarcity. The last 50 years have seen remarkable growth in global
agricultural production, but the impact on the environment has been unsustainable. The benefi ts of this green
revolution have also been distributed unevenly; growth in Asia and America has not been matched in Africa. Science
can potentially continue to provide dramatic improvements to crop production, but it must do so sustainably. Science
and technology must therefore be understood in their broader social, economic and environmental contexts. The
sustainable intensifi cation of crop production requires a clear defi nition of agricultural sustainability. Improvements to
food crop production should aim to reduce rather than exacerbate global inequalities if they are to contribute to
economic development. This report follows other recent analyses, all arguing that major improvements are needed to
the way that scientifi c research is funded and used.

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Reaping the benefits: Science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture (held on an external server, and so may require additional authentication details)

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