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AAD

Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt

Professor, pro dean

AAD

Sustainable agricultural intensification in four Tanzanian villages—a view from the ground and the sky

Author

  • Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt
  • Ola Hall
  • Aida Isinika
  • Elibariki Msuya
  • Genesis Tambang Yengoh

Summary, in English

Agricultural intensification based on smallholders is among many economists viewed as a necessary developmental path to ensure food security and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa. Increasingly, a one-sided focus on raising productivity in cereals has been questioned on environmental grounds, with the concept of sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) emerging from the natural sciences as a way of advancing environmental and social needs simultaneously. SAI approaches have, however, been criticized for being both conceptually and methodologically vague. This study combines socioeconomic survey data with remotely sensed land productivity data and qualitative data from four villages in Tanzania. By triangulating and comparing data collected through ground level surveys and ground-truthing with remote sensing data, we find that this combination of methods is capable of resolving some of the theoretical and methodological vagueness found in SAI approaches. The results show the problems of relying on only one type of data when studying sustainable agricultural intensification and indicate the poor environmental outcomes of cereal monocropping, even when social outcomes may be forthcoming. We identify land use practices that can be considered both socially and environmentally sustainable. Theoretically, we contribute to a further problematization of the SAI concept.

Department/s

  • Department of Human Geography
  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year

2020-10-02

Language

English

Publication/Series

Sustainability (Switzerland)

Volume

12

Issue

20

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

MDPI AG

Topic

  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
  • Economic Geography

Keywords

  • Agricultural productivity
  • GIS
  • Interdisciplinary approaches
  • Smallholder agriculture
  • Sustainable agricultural intensification

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 2071-1050