“Food security is an important issue for the livelihood of small-scale family businesses in densely populated regions and countries. Industrialized agriculture in more developed countries has increased global food supply to meet demand, but overuse of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides has negative effects on the environment. “Impact,” say one group or researchers, adding that it is crucial to find sustainable ways to grow more food with a smaller ecological footprint.
This research team developed an integrated cultivation system that includes four key components: 1) intensive cultivation by staggering or cover crops, 2) strip rotation within the field, 3) soil mulching with available resources, such as. Tillage or reduced tillage. Sixteen field trials carried out over 12 consecutive years (2006 to 2017) with a wide range of plant inputs showed that the integrated system with cover crops generates significant synergies – annual crop yields of 15.6 to 49.9% and net yields of the increase agricultural holdings by 39.2% and reduce the ecological footprint by 17.3% – compared to traditional cultivation in monoculture.
The team concludes that smallholder farmers can achieve the dual goal of growing more food and reducing their environmental footprint by adopting integrated farming systems.
Read the full research below www.pnas.org.
Integrated agriculture with mixed culture increases food production and at the same time reduces the ecological footprint Qiang Chai, Thomas Nemecek, Chang Liang, Cai Zhao, Aizhong Yu, Jeffrey A. Coulter, Yifan Wang, Falong Hu, Li Wang, Kadambot HM Siddique, Yantai Gan
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sept. 2021, 118 (38) e2106382118; DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2106382118