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Sustainable Agriculture

Listed author(s):
  • Tisdell, Clement A.

This paper provides an overview of concepts of sustainable agriculture and possible methods of attaining sustainability of agricultural yields and production. Reasons are given as to why modern industrialised agriculture might be less sustainable in terms of yields than traditional agriculture. The question of whether organic agriculture is likely to be more sustainable than non-organic agriculture is considered as well as organic agriculture’s likely impact on wild biodiversity. The impact of the development of agriculture on wild biodiversity is assessed because some environmentalists see the conservation of wild biodiversity as an important ingredient of sustainable development. However, there is a policy conflict between conservationist groups. Some see intensive agriculture (including silviculture) as favourable to the conservation of wild biodiversity whereas others oppose such production methods as being unfavourable to wild biodiversity conservation. Reasons why modern industrialised agricultural systems are so widely adopted (and continue to be adopted) despite their apparent lack of sustainability are suggested. Market systems may tend to lock producers into unsustainable production methods.

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Paper provided by University of Queensland, School of Economics in its series Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers with number 55063.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseee:55063
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  1. 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.
  2. Norman Uphoff, 2007. "Agroecological alternatives: Capitalising on existing genetic potentials," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 218-236.
  3. Clem Tisdell, 2002. "The Economics of Conserving Wildlife and Natural Areas," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2526.
  4. 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, November.
  5. Conway, Gordon R., 1987. "The properties of agroecosystems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 95-117.
  6. 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.
  7. Clem Tisdell, 1999. "Biodiversity, Conservation and Sustainable Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1408.
  8. Wilson, Clevo & Tisdell, Clem, 2001. "Why farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental, health and sustainability costs," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 449-462, December.
  9. Tisdell, Clem, 2003. "Socioeconomic causes of loss of animal genetic diversity: analysis and assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 365-376, July.
  10. Kiriti, Tabitha & Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Marital Status, Farm Size and other Influences On the Extent of Cash Cropping in Kenya: A Household Case Study," Social Economics, Policy and Development Working Papers 105586, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  11. Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Economic Incentives to Conserve Wildlife on Private lands: Analysis and Policy," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 48973, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
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