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Evaluating the sustainable intensification of arable farms

Gadanakis, Y. ORCID:, Bennett, R., Park, J. and Areal, F. J. (2015) Evaluating the sustainable intensification of arable farms. Journal of Environmental Management, 150. pp. 288-298. ISSN 0301-4797

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.10.005


Sustainable Intensification (SI) of agriculture has recently received widespread political attention, in both the UK and internationally. The concept recognises the need to simultaneously raise yields, increase input use efficiency and reduce the negative environmental impacts of farming systems to secure future food production and to sustainably use the limited resources for agriculture. The objective of this paper is to outline a policy-making tool to assess SI at a farm level. Based on the method introduced by Kuosmanen and Kortelainen (2005), we use an adapted Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to consider the substitution possibilities between economic value and environmental pressures generated by farming systems in an aggregated index of Eco-Efficiency. Farm level data, specifically General Cropping Farms (GCFs) from the East Anglian River Basin Catchment (EARBC), UK were used as the basis for this analysis. The assignment of weights to environmental pressures through linear programming techniques, when optimising the relative Eco-Efficiency score, allows the identification of appropriate production technologies and practices (integrating pest management, conservation farming, precision agriculture, etc.) for each farm and therefore indicates specific improvements that can be undertaken towards SI. Results are used to suggest strategies for the integration of farming practices and environmental policies in the framework of SI of agriculture. Paths for improving the index of Eco-Efficiency and therefore reducing environmental pressures are also outlined.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Farm Management Unit
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:37916


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