Special Issue "Designing More Diverse and Resilient Food Systems for the Future"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Francesco Caracciolo
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Guest Editor
Associate Professor at the Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II
Interests: Development & Agricultural Economics: Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification, food security and rural poverty, methodologies for evaluating on-farm conservation projects, assessment of ecosystem services, contract farming. - Food Economics: Consumer behaviour, food marketing, consumer food choice and related issues concerning food systems.
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Elisabetta Gotor
Website
Guest Editor
Head Development Impact Unit, Bioversity International
Interests: Agricultural development problems and policies; Impact Assessment; Agrobiodiversity conservation and use

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Current food systems rooted in input intensive farming and specialization and in socio-economic inequities along the supply chain have large detrimental effects on both society and the environment, resulting in the loss of ecosystem services and decreasing livelihood opportunities in rural areas. The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food systems identified the increasing lack of diversity in farming and food systems as one of the greatest threats to their long-term sustainability. Designing more diverse and resilient agri-food system for the future is one of the crucial and global themes that has emerged from the growing awareness of the unsustainable nature of existing patterns of food production and consumption.

Diversity in all its dimensions characterizes environmental sustainability, ecosystem resilience and a nutritionally adequate diet. For instance, agricultural biological diversity provides a wide range of ecosystem services to society by sustaining crop evolution that generates the broad genetic variation necessary for crops to adapt to agro-ecological changes, thus assuring the resilience of food systems in the face of climate change. Moreover, resilient food systems need to be designed taking into consideration farmers’ and consumers’ preferences, market incentives, institutions and social organizations.

The Special Issue aims to include both empirical research articles and conceptual pieces covering (but not limited to) all stages of the agri-food system, from production to distribution, marketing and consumption, that may contribute to the transition towards a more diverse and resilient food system.

Prof. Francesco Caracciolo
Dr. Elisabetta Gotor
Guest Editors

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 semimonthly 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 1800 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

  • food system
  • supply chain
  • agrobiodiversity
  • sustainable consumption
  • ecosystem services
  • circular economy
  • bioeconomy

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Lock-ins and Agency: Towards an Embedded Approach of Individual Pathways in the Walloon Dairy Sector
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4405; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164405 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
As the 2009 dairy crisis drew attention to the situation of dairy farmers in Europe, the extent of strategical power left to farmers in dairy cooperatives of increasing size is a frequently raised issue. Four dairy cooperatives collect 97% of the milk in [...] Read more.
As the 2009 dairy crisis drew attention to the situation of dairy farmers in Europe, the extent of strategical power left to farmers in dairy cooperatives of increasing size is a frequently raised issue. Four dairy cooperatives collect 97% of the milk in the Walloon Region (in the southern part of Belgium). Two of them integrated agro-food multinationals. We decided to analyze the trajectories of Walloon dairy farmers exploring alternatives to the delivery of milk to these mainstream dairy cooperatives. We focused on the territories situated to the east of the Walloon Region, where dairy farming represents 75% of farming revenues. Alternatives consist either of processing milk on farm or in concluding a contract with a cheese processor collecting milk directly from farmers. Our objective was to understand the issues faced in these alternative trajectories and the reason why these alternatives remained marginal. We designed a qualitative case study based on interviews with farmers and local cheese processors. We mobilized evolutionary approaches on the stability and transitions of systems and approaches of change at the farmer level. It appears that the alternative trajectories remain embedded in a broader dairy context. The lock-ins emerging from this context determine the evolution of the farming model towards intensification and the individual identity and capabilities of farmers. We present a model of interconnected and embedded lock-ins, from the organizational frame of the regime to the individual frame. This model illustrates how the agency articulates with structural dynamics. We propose structural measures in the organization of agricultural education and in terms of support to alternative supply chains that will enhance agency in favor of a change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing More Diverse and Resilient Food Systems for the Future)
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Caregivers’ Nutrition Knowledge and Food Market Accessibility on Preschool Children’s Dietary Diversity in Remote Communities in Southeast Nigeria
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1688; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061688 - 20 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Empirical evidence is scanty on the nexus between caregivers’ nutrition knowledge, market accessibility, and preschool children’s dietary diversity in remote communities of Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. To fill this gap, this study evaluated the effects of caregivers’ nutrition knowledge and access to [...] Read more.
Empirical evidence is scanty on the nexus between caregivers’ nutrition knowledge, market accessibility, and preschool children’s dietary diversity in remote communities of Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. To fill this gap, this study evaluated the effects of caregivers’ nutrition knowledge and access to food market on dietary diversity of preschool children. We used cross-sectional data from four hundred households selected from twenty remote communities in Southeast Nigeria. The study adopted instrumental variable regression to estimate the impacts of nutrition knowledge and food market access on preschool children’s dietary diversity. The findings show that in remote communities, caregivers’ nutrition knowledge and households’ closeness to the market improved preschool children’s dietary diversity. The study demonstrates the potential of improving preschool children’s nutrition outcomes through enhancing access to food market and the nutrition knowledge of the caregivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing More Diverse and Resilient Food Systems for the Future)
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Resilience of Pistachio Agroecosystems in Rafsanjan Plain in Iran
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061656 - 19 Mar 2019
Abstract
This study assessed the resilience of pistachio production systems in the Rafsanjan plain in Iran using an index of behavior-based indicators. One-hundred fifty pistachio orchards located in five major production areas were studied in 2016. The data was subjected to three-step multi-criteria analysis, [...] Read more.
This study assessed the resilience of pistachio production systems in the Rafsanjan plain in Iran using an index of behavior-based indicators. One-hundred fifty pistachio orchards located in five major production areas were studied in 2016. The data was subjected to three-step multi-criteria analysis, including (i) normalization and aggregation; (ii) determination of the weights representing the priorities for each criterion and evaluation of the performance of each indicator; and (iii) comparison. The results showed that the study areas had problematic statuses regarding the indicators of membership in grassroots organizations, innate abilities, water sources, production stability, and insurance. They had critical or moderate statuses concerning the indicators of use of organic fertilizers, use of pesticides, soil fertility index, water-use efficiency (kg/m3), trust in government, access to advisor services (extension), on-the-job training, and diversity of marketing. They had positive levels for the indicators of productivity, diversity of cultivars, diversity of on-farm practices, and exchange of information. We recommend the enhancement of the transformability capacity in PPSs by changing the focus from optimal states and the determinants of maximum sustainable yield (MSY paradigm) to adaptive resource management that includes developing participatory platforms for collaboration of usage of water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Designing More Diverse and Resilient Food Systems for the Future)
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