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Special Issue "Land and Food Policy"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Hossein Azadi

Department of Geography, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Interests: land and food policies; land governance; food security; agrarian change; resilient agriculture; sustainable livelihood; vulnerability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land-use change could potentially interrupt progress toward a world without hunger. A robust and coherent global pattern is discernible from the impacts of land use change on crop productivity, which could have consequences on food security. The sustainability of food systems may be at risk under land-use changes. Nevertheless, potential impacts are more controllable in areas where the rights to land are realized and secured. On the contrary, it is likely that land-use changes exacerbate food insecurity where the law is complicated, fickle, or outdated, and decision-making processes are not transparent and civil society is poor. Likewise, it can be anticipated that food security will directly and indirectly be affected by good or weak land governance.
This Special Issue invites papers that address land and food policies and other relevant aspects. All types of scientific contributions including empirical studies and critical reviews are welcome for publication.

Dr. Hossein Azadi
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.

Keywords

  • Land use policy
  • Land use change
  • Land governance
  • Sustainable land use management
  • Food policy
  • Food security
  • Sustainable food production systems

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Prediction of Climate Change Induced Temperature & Precipitation: The Case of Iran
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 146; doi:10.3390/su9010146
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
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Abstract
Concern about the effects of climatic change on numerous aspects of human life in general and on agricultural production in particular is growing. The utility of HadCM3 as a tool in climate change predictions in cross cultural studies is scarce. Therefore, this study
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Concern about the effects of climatic change on numerous aspects of human life in general and on agricultural production in particular is growing. The utility of HadCM3 as a tool in climate change predictions in cross cultural studies is scarce. Therefore, this study sought to investigate and predict climate change induced temperature and precipitation in Iran. The calibration and validation using the HadCM3 was performed during 1961–2001, using daily temperatures and precipitation. The data on temperature and precipitation from 1961 to 1990 were used for calibration, and, for model validation, data from 1991 to 2001 were used. Moreover, in order to downscale general circulation models to station scales, SDSM version 4.2 was utilized. The least difference between observed data and simulation data during calibration and validation showed that the parameter was precisely modeled for most of the year. Simulation under the A2 scenario was performed for three time periods (2020, 2050, and 2080). According to our simulated model, precipitation showed a decreasing trend whereas temperature showed an increasing trend. The result of this research paper makes a significant contribution to climate smart agriculture in Iran. For example, rural development practitioners can devise effective policies and programs in order to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to climate change impacts. Moreover, the result of this study can be used as an optimal model for land allocation in agriculture. Moreover, a shortage of rainfall and decreased temperatures also have implications for agricultural land allocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1347; doi:10.3390/su8121347
Received: 2 September 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 13 December 2016 / Published: 21 December 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5320 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, urban agriculture has been asserting its relevance as part of a vibrant and diverse food system due to its small scale, its focus on nutrition, its contribution to food security, its employment opportunities, and its role in community building and
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In recent years, urban agriculture has been asserting its relevance as part of a vibrant and diverse food system due to its small scale, its focus on nutrition, its contribution to food security, its employment opportunities, and its role in community building and social mobility. Urban agriculture may also be a tool to re-appropriate a range of abandoned or unused irregular spaces within the city, including flowerbeds, roundabouts, terraces, balconies and rooftops. Consistently, all spaces that present a lack of identity may be converted to urban agriculture areas and, more specifically, to urban horticulture as a way to strengthen resilience and sustainability. The goal of this paper is to analyse current practices in the requalification of vacant areas as urban gardens with the aim of building communities and improving landscapes and life quality. To do so, the city of Bologna (Italy) was used as a case study. Four types of vacant areas were identified as places for implementing urban gardens: flowerbeds along streets and squares, balconies and rooftops, abandoned buildings and abandoned neighbourhoods. Six case studies representing this variety of vacant areas were identified and evaluated by collecting primary data (i.e., field work, participant observations and interviews) and performing a SWOT analysis. For most cases, urban horticulture improved the image and quality of the areas as well as bringing numerous social benefits in terms of life quality, food access and social interaction among participants. Strong differences in some aspects were found between top-down and bottom-up initiatives, being the later preferable for the engagement of citizens. Policy-making might focus on participatory and transparent planning, long-term actions, food safety and economic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Peri-Urban Food Production and Its Relation to Urban Resilience
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1340; doi:10.3390/su8121340
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 22 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
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Abstract
Food production on the urban–rural fringe is under pressure due to competing land uses. We discuss the potential to improve resilience for urban–rural regions by enhancing food production as part of multifunctional land use. Through studies of peri-urban land in the regions of
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Food production on the urban–rural fringe is under pressure due to competing land uses. We discuss the potential to improve resilience for urban–rural regions by enhancing food production as part of multifunctional land use. Through studies of peri-urban land in the regions of Gothenburg (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Gent (Belgium), recent developments are analysed. Arable farming has been declining since 2000 in all three areas due to urban expansion and recreational land use changes. In city plans, networks of protected areas and green spaces and their importance for human wellbeing have been acknowledged. Policies for farmland preservation in peri-urban settings exist, but strategies for local food production are not expressed in present planning documents. Among the diversity of peri-urban agricultural activities, peri-urban food production is a developing issue. However, the competing forms of land use and the continuing high dependence of urban food on global food systems and related resource flows reduces peri-urban food production and improvements in urban food security. The positive effects of local food production need to be supported by governance aiming to improve the urban–rural relationship. The paper discusses the resilience potential of connecting urban–rural regions and re-coupling agriculture to regional food production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Aquaculture Land-Use Policy: The Case of Clam Farming in Thaibinh Province, Vietnam
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1251; doi:10.3390/su8121251
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 1 December 2016
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Abstract
Policy-making and enforcement remains centralized in Vietnam. Policies have been formulated with less scientific and public justification, thus being largely bureaucratic and infeasible, and in many cases, they have created plagues for people at the grass-roots levels. This article focuses on the implementation
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Policy-making and enforcement remains centralized in Vietnam. Policies have been formulated with less scientific and public justification, thus being largely bureaucratic and infeasible, and in many cases, they have created plagues for people at the grass-roots levels. This article focuses on the implementation of policies related to intertidal land-use and supports for clam farming in the Thaibinh province as a case study to explore the impacts of policies on clam farming and farmers. During the period of 2011–2013, provincial policies on intertidal land allocation and technical and financial supports had boosted clam farming development in the province to a surprising extent. Rapid expansion of the clam farming area has created significant consequences for the farming sector, as well as farmer’s lives. However, for the same provincial policies, but with different enforcement, different farming outcomes for clam farmers in the three study communes have resulted. Where farmers had more of a voice and choice in bidding for the intertidal areas they preferred, they faced fewer problems. It is, thus, suggested that a more decentralized policy-making and enforcement are needed, in which more scientific assessment and farmer participation are required to not only make government policy more successful in supporting farmers and achieving their expected outcomes, but also to provide farmers with more room to make their own farming decisions from which farming and marketing risks could be mitigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Grassland and Wheat Loss Affected by Corn and Soybean Expansion in the Midwest Corn Belt Region, 2006–2013
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1177; doi:10.3390/su8111177
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
Increases in agricultural commodity price triggered by ethanol production and other socioeconomic conditions have dramatically affected land uses and agronomic practices in the U.S. This study used crop-specific land cover data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to analyze agricultural expansion and
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Increases in agricultural commodity price triggered by ethanol production and other socioeconomic conditions have dramatically affected land uses and agronomic practices in the U.S. This study used crop-specific land cover data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to analyze agricultural expansion and crop rotation pattern from 2006 to 2013 in the Midwest Corn Belt (MWCB): nine states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota. We identified a total of 3.9 million acres’ grassland loss between 2007 and 2012. The net loss of grassland occurred mainly along the western MWCB, an area with competing demand for limited water supply. Net conversion of grassland to corn or soybean is likely the result of a resumption of cropping on lands previously enrolled under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), as well as expansion beyond CRP lands. Wheat, small grains, and other crops were also impacted by corn and soybean expansion. The amount of corn planted on corn increased by 23% between 2006 and 2013, whereas the amount of continuous soybean cropping fluctuated over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle How Attractive Is Upland Olive Groves Landscape? Application of the Analytic Hierarchy Process and GIS in Southern Spain
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1160; doi:10.3390/su8111160
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 10 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5485 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The upland olive groves of Andalusia (Southern Spain) are an example of fragile landscape from an ecological point of view. The wildfire and soil erosion risks that can result in the desertification of the area are the main components of fragility. This paper
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The upland olive groves of Andalusia (Southern Spain) are an example of fragile landscape from an ecological point of view. The wildfire and soil erosion risks that can result in the desertification of the area are the main components of fragility. This paper focuses on the visual quality assessment of this agricultural system as a mean to their economic and environmental sustainability. The case study is represented by the upland olive groves of the municipality of Montoro where rural tourism is an important economic activity. We carried out a personal interview survey on 480 citizens to determine their visual preferences regarding three representative types of olive plantation landscape to be transferred to landscape level through a Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) multicriteria decision-making technique was the method used to derive preferences from the survey. The results suggest that olive farming systems with grass vegetation cover between the trees are the preferred landscape type (0.42), followed very closely by the non-productive olive groves (0.41). The conventional olive farming system was the least preferred landscape (0.17). The visual quality map presents five categories, revealing that most of the olive groves in the study area belong to the very low visual quality category (93% of the total area). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Using Food Flow Data to Assess Sustainability: Land Use Displacement and Regional Decoupling in Quintana Roo, Mexico
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1145; doi:10.3390/su8111145
Received: 17 September 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 2 November 2016 / Published: 8 November 2016
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Abstract
Food flow data provide unique insights into the debates surrounding the sustainability of land based production and consumption at multiple scales. Trade flows disguise the spatial correspondence of production and consumption and make their connection to land difficult. Two key components of this
[...] Read more.
Food flow data provide unique insights into the debates surrounding the sustainability of land based production and consumption at multiple scales. Trade flows disguise the spatial correspondence of production and consumption and make their connection to land difficult. Two key components of this spatial disjuncture are land use displacement and economic regional decoupling. By displacing the environmental impact associated with food production from one region to another, environmental trajectories can falsely appear to be sustainable at a particular site or scale. When regional coupling is strong, peripheral areas where land based production occurs are strongly linked and proximate to consumption centers, and the environmental impact of production activities is visible. When food flows occur over longer distances, regional coupling weakens, and environmental impact is frequently overlooked. In this study, we present an analysis of a locally collected food flow dataset containing agricultural and livestock products transported to and from counties in Quintana Roo (QRoo). QRoo is an extensively forested border state in southeast Mexico, which was fully colonized by the state and non-native settlers only in the last century and now is home to some of the major tourist destinations. To approximate land displacement and regional decoupling, we decompose flows to and from QRoo by (1) direction; (2) product types and; (3) scale. Results indicate that QRoo is predominantly a consumer state: incoming flows outnumber outgoing flows by a factor of six, while exports are few, specialized, and with varied geographic reach (Yucatan, south and central Mexico, USA). Imports come predominantly from central Mexico. Local production in QRoo accounts for a small portion of its total consumption. In combining both subsets of agricultural and livestock products, we found that in most years, land consumption requirements were above 100% of the available land not under conservation in QRoo, suggesting unsustainable rates of land consumption in a ´business as usual´ scenario. We found evidence of economic regional decoupling at the state level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Source Credibility on Consumer Acceptance of Genetically Modified Foods in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 899; doi:10.3390/su8090899
Received: 12 July 2016 / Revised: 25 August 2016 / Accepted: 30 August 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the reasoning mechanism behind the consumer acceptance of genetically modified foods (GMFs) in China, and investigates influence of source credibility on consumer acceptance of GMFs. Based on the original Persuasion Model—which was developed by Carl Hovland, an American psychologist and
[...] Read more.
This paper examines the reasoning mechanism behind the consumer acceptance of genetically modified foods (GMFs) in China, and investigates influence of source credibility on consumer acceptance of GMFs. Based on the original Persuasion Model—which was developed by Carl Hovland, an American psychologist and pioneer in the study of communication and its effect on attitudes and beliefs—we conducted a survey using multistage sampling from 1167 urban residents, which were proportionally selected from six cities in three economic regions (south, central, and north) in the Jiangsu province through face to face interviews. Mixed-process regression that could correct endogeneity and ordered probit model were used to test the impact of source credibility on consumers’ acceptance of GMFs. Our major finding was that consumer acceptance of GMFs is affected by such factors as information source credibility, general attitudes, gender, and education levels. The reliability of biotechnology research institutes, government offices devoted to management of GM organisms (GMOs), and GMO technological experts have expedited urban consumer acceptance of GM soybean oil. However, public acceptance can also decrease as faith in the environmental organization. We also found that ignorance of the endogeneity of above mentioned source significantly undervalued its effect on consumers’ acceptance. Moreover, the remaining three sources (non-GMO experts, food companies, and anonymous information found on the Internet) had almost no effect on consumer acceptance. Surprisingly, the more educated people in our survey were more skeptical towards GMFs. Our results contribute to the behavioral literature on consumer attitudes toward GMFs by developing a reasoning mechanism determining consumer acceptance of GMFs. Particularly, this paper quantitatively studied the influence of different source credibility on consumer acceptance of GMFs by using mixed-process regression to correct endogeneity in information sources, while taking into consideration of information asymmetry and specific preference in the use of information sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Landscaping food policies? A critical assessment of Kenya’s recent value chain collaborations through the lens of inclusive development
Author: Yves van Leynseele; Nicky R.M. Pouw
Affiliation: Governance and Inclusive Development, University of Amsterdam Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Abstract: Intensification of agriculture remains a key focus of international development collaboration in Sub-Saharan Africa. Recent interventions in Kenya to promote value chain participation of producers integrate concerns for environmental sustainability and trade-oriented development corporation. These approaches aim to overcome the overreliance on vertical value chain integration through emphasis on making producers responsible for knowledge sharing, doing integrated planning at landscape level and creating shared value through closing loops in circular economies. This paper elaborates the inclusive development framework as means for assessing ‘inclusiveness’ and potential outcomes of this novel approach. By focusing on two recent cases in Kenia where Dutch planning and development agencies facilitated value chain collaboration, it is argued that such initiatives face uncertainties due to overriding concerns to match private sector actors and potential investors to local producers. Such endeavours are framed within a pro-poor and growth oriented approach, that tends to neglect, side-step or postpone other inclusive development concerns. The framework of inclusive development provides a critical alternative for reassessing the integration of vertical and horizontal chain relations in a comprehensive manner.
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