Research Repository

Global Assessment of Agricultural System Redesign for Sustainable Intensification

Pretty, Jules and Benton, Tim G and Bharucha, Zareen Pervez and Dicks, Lynn V and Flora, Cornelia Butler and Godfray, H Charles J and Goulson, Dave and Hartley, Susan E and Lampkin, Nic and Morris, Carol and Pierzynski, Gary and Prasad, PV Vara and Reganold, John and Rockstrom, Johan and Smith, Pete and Thorne, Peter and Wratten, Steve (2018) 'Global Assessment of Agricultural System Redesign for Sustainable Intensification.' Nature Sustainability, 1 (8). pp. 441-446. ISSN 2398-9629

NATSUSTAIN-18031277B final paper.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (688kB) | Preview
SI file NATSUSTAIN-18031277B.pdf - Supplemental Material

Download (679kB) | Preview
Official URL:


The sustainable intensification (SI) of agricultural systems offers synergistic opportunities for the co- production of agricultural and natural capital outcomes. Efficiency and Substitution are steps towards SI, but system Redesign is essential to deliver optimum outcomes as ecological and economic conditions change. We show global progress towards SI by farms and hectares, using seven SI sub-types: integrated pest management, conservation agriculture, integrated crop and biodiversity, pasture and forage, trees, irrigation management, and small/patch systems. From 47 SI initiatives at scale (each >10⁴ farms or hectares), we estimate 163M farms (29% of all worldwide) have crossed a redesign threshold, practising forms of SI on 453Mha of agricultural land (9% of worldwide total). Key challenges include investing to integrate more forms of SI in farming systems, creating agricultural knowledge economies, and establishing policy measures to scale SI further. We conclude that SI may be approaching a tipping point where it could be transformative.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2018 11:32
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 12:47

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item