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Special Issue "Sustainable Agriculture: The State of the Great Debates"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alon Tal

Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 03-6409524
Interests: sustainability; demography; water

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on central controversies over what constitutes sustainable agriculture, given recent research in the field. The journal will take on a “point–counterpoint” format with both sides on the issues presented fairly, by a leading expert in the field, based on available evidence. Readers can receive a dispassionate, up-to-date presentation of where the most recent research points to and supports in these classic debates.

The following are the topics included in this Special Issue:

(1) Prospects for Global Food Security: Neo-Malthusians take on Promethean optimists on the question: Can we expect productivity to continue to keep ahead of the world’s population—which is expected to grow to 11.2 billion people by the end of the century?

(2) The Sustainability of Arid Agriculture: With the advent of better fertigation technologies and salt/drought resistant crop varieties, many experts today harbor far more ambitious visions about making the deserts bloom. But there is also evidence that the expansion of desert agriculture is ultimately unsustainable.

(3) Land Sharing versus Land Sparing: Considerable disagreement has arisen in recent years as to whether the best strategy for biodiversity involved have conservation strategies integrated into farm operations which would be partners in biodiversity protection efforts (land sharing)—or whether maximizing intensity of farming to ensure minimum amount of land compromised by farm operations (land sparing).

(4) The Virtues of Organic Agriculture Questioned: Organic produce enjoys higher market prices and environmental pedigree than conventionally fruits and vegetables. Are pesticides truly a public health menace that produce super bugs and are responsible for a global cancer epidemic—or is pesticide risk exaggerated with organic agriculture an obstacle to providing food for a growing population?

(5) Agricultural GMOs—What we know and where scientists disagree: Since the 1980s when scientists successfully inserted genes into to create glyphosate-tolerant soybeans, the world has empirical experience with GMOs. Have early environmental concerns been validated?

(6) DesalinationA critical resource for future irrigation or Economically and environmentally unfeasible pipe dream: As water scarce regions become increasingly dependent on desalination to provide them with drinking water—will there be a continued drop in prices that will make desalinated water a critical source of irrigation water for the world’s food production?  

(7) Jevons paradox and drip irrigation—The Jevons paradox involves situations where because of the increase in efficiency brought about by technological progress, the rate of consumption of resources actually rises because of increasing demand. It has been argued that efficient drip and other micro irrigation systems will actually increase water consumption.

Prof. Dr. Alon Tal
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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