Knowledge for a sustainable world

Development Programme:
Sustainable Agricultural Intensification

The Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Programme objectives are to enable farmers to solve problems of rural productivity and intensify agricultural production in a sustainable and efficient manner, through capacity development and training. To this end we have two activity themes as outlined below:

  • Farming systems that use resources more efficiently whilst increasing production, reducing crop losses and increasing environmental resilience.
  • Enhanced ecosystem services on farms for pollination, pest control, biodiversity conservation and developing resilience to climatic change.

The programme uses evidence-based agricultural science, including crop ecology, farming systems research and ecosystem service evaluation integrating socioeconomic and value chain analysis to improve the lives of rural producers, and societal well-being. Our current work is focused mainly on rural small holder communities in sub-Saharan Africa who produce for local, national and export markets, including Europe.

Our approach combines applied research between researchers and farmers to develop sustainable and productive agricultural systems addressing specific issues of soil fertility management, weed control, pollination, agroforestry etc. Assessment of the social and environmental sustainability and trade-offs intensification of productivity are used to inform policy and practices in agricultural development.

Capacity development is provided through training and knowledge exchange with farmers, extension and research services and the private sector and NGOs. This includes both formal and ad hoc training, farmer field schools, training of trainers, customised technical training courses and MSc and PhD research programmes. We also provide agricultural consultancy and R&D services to private sector companies and organisations involved in agricultural intensification.