Low-input intensification of agriculture - chances and barriers in developing countries

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"Fasanenschlösschen", Großer Saal (Forstliches Bildungszentrum / KIT Campus Süd)

The vast majority of farmers in developing countries are smallholders. Increasing agricultural production and strong economic growth in agriculture - with attention centred on small-scale farmers - are required to achieve reduction of hunger and poverty. At the same time, a more sustainable land use is urgently requested.

Candidates for higher food production and sustainable land utilisation in developing countries are agricultural production systems as Conservation Agriculture, System of Rice Intensification, Organic Farming and Agroforestry systems.

These production systems have the potential for a "low-input intensification", meeting especially the needs and possibilities of small-scale farmers. They can be described as complex agricultural systems of intensification through higher agro-ecological and biological productivity. They do not require necessarily higher external inputs (as mineral fertilizer and pesticides). Instead, they focus on the optimisation of input utilisation. Improved management of soil and water are central elements.

In this context, the workshop will discuss two issues:

  • The potentials of low-input intensification for small-scale farmers and approaches for their evaluation;
  • Approaches for problem-oriented research to connect global principles of production systems with concrete local applications and implications for research agendas

The workshop is a joint event of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (Campus North) and the Institute for Geography and Geoecology (Campus South) of KIT.