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

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsCommissioned report

  • Bill Davies
  • David Baulcombe
  • Ian Crute
  • Jim Dunwell
  • Mike Gale
  • Jonathan Jones
  • Jules Pretty
  • William Sutherland
  • Camilla Toulmin
Publication date2009
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoyal Society
Number of pages86
ISBN (Print)978-0-85403-784-1
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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 nsustainable. 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 scientific research is funded and used.