Sustainable Agriculture: An Update
AbstractProvides some background on concerns about the sustainability of agriculture, outlines and discusses views about what constitutes sustainable agriculture and contrasts the sustainability of modern industrialised agriculture with that of traditional agriculture. Then the question is considered (taking into account the available evidence) whether organic agriculture is more sustainable than non-organic agriculture. Barriers to switching from non-organic to organic agriculture are mentioned. The development of agriculture usually has a serious negative impact on wild biodiversity. Whether or not more intensive agriculture would reduce the negative ecological footprint is unclear but many scientists believe it will do this. Globally, there has been a rapid expansion in the area planted with GM crops. Reasons are given why yields and returns from these crops may not be sustained, and why they may result in genetic losses liable to jeopardise sustainable development. Nevertheless, agriculturalists may still have an incentive to adopt unsustainable agroecosystems for reasons outlined. While genetic losses may be a threat to the long-term sustainability of agriculture, increasing scarcity of natural resources used in agriculture, such as water, and climate change may be more immediate challenges to the sustainability of agricultural production.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Queensland, School of Economics in its series Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers with number 140549.
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
biodiversity loss; genetically modified crops; industrialised modern agriculture; organic agriculture; sustainable agriculture; sustainable development; Agricultural and Food Policy; Crop Production/Industries; Environmental Economics and Policy; Q01; Q16; Q57;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
- Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
- Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2013-01-07 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2013-01-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2013-01-07 (Environmental Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Norman Uphoff, 2007. "Agroecological alternatives: Capitalising on existing genetic potentials," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 218-236.
- Kiriti, Tabitha & Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Commercialisation of Agriculture in Kenya: Case Study of Policy Bias and Food Purchases by Farm Households," Social Economics, Policy and Development Working Papers 105584, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
- Tisdell, Clement A., 2002.
"Socioeconomic Causes of Loss of Animal Genetic Diversity: Analysis and Assessment,"
Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers
48741, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
- Tisdell, Clem, 2003. "Socioeconomic causes of loss of animal genetic diversity: analysis and assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 365-376, July.
- Wilson, Clevo & Tisdell, Clem, 2001.
"Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental, health and sustainability costs,"
Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 449-462, December.
- Wilson, Clevo & Tisdell, Clement A., 2000. "Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental health and sustainability costs," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48363, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
- Conway, Gordon R., 1987. "The properties of agroecosystems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 95-117.
- Ricardo, David, 1821. "On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 3, number ricardo1821.
- C. Gonsalves & D. R. Lee & D. Gonsalves, 2007. "The Adoption of genetically modified papaya in Hawaii and its implications for developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 177-191.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.