Special Issue "Rethinking Agriculture to Meet Food, Fiber and Energy Demands"

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 August 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Nuria Gomez-Casanovas
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Biology, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Interests: agroecology; environmental science; sustainability; food and energy security; biogeochemistry; plant physiology; soil health; biodiversity; climate change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In society’s quest to feed an increasing population, sustain our economic growth, and meet energy and fiber demands, agriculture has intensified. To meet future demands sustainably, it is vital to use land and water efficiently and to improve environmental and ecological services of agricultural land while providing higher economic value for farmers despite the growing pressure of climate change.

Sustainability is a cross-disciplinary peer-reviewed journal that publishes studies related to sustainability. The main objective of this Special Issue is to compile a multidisciplinary body of knowledge to advance our understanding to secure food, fiber, and energy current and future demands in an environmentally and ecologically sustainable way.

Taking a holistic approach, articles may include the following topics:

  1. Management and land cover strategies in agricultural and managed systems that increase one or more ecosystem services of agroecosystems (managed forests and grasslands, crop and grazing lands). Ecosystem services include, among others, greenhouse gas (GHG) and water regulation (e.g., fields, livestock, manure emission), soil carbon (C) sequestration, biogeochemistry of trace elements, soil biogeochemical and physical properties, biodiversity (animals, plants and soil microorganisms), and water quality.
  2. Strategies that efficiently improve the use of land, nutrients, and water and that have a positive impact on the productivity of agricultural and managed systems.
  3. Bioengineering strategies to increase photosynthesis and productivity.
  4. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies associated with agriculture.
  5. Impact of changes in climate and climate extremes on ecosystem services and productivity of agricultural and managed systems.
  6. The impact of traditional practices on ecosystems, climate, and the environment. Examples include the impact of herbicide and fertilizer use, of irrigation and tillage practices, and of traditional land cover management on ecosystem goods and services.
  7. Modeling and life cycle assessments to assess management and land cover strategies that increase the sustainability of agricultural and managed systems.
  8. Integration of agronomic, environmental, ecological, and economic aspects of management and land cover strategies. 
  9. Innovative techniques and methodologies to measure productivity and biogeochemical processes, including biogeochemical methods, remote sensing, and modeling.

Envisioned contributions include original research, review papers, communications, and notes that investigate relevant topics across diverse spatial (from soil microbes to plants, soil and the atmosphere; from local to global) and temporal (past, current, future; short- and long-term) scales. Studies with field, mesocosm and lab experiments are welcome, as well as modeling and technical-oriented papers.

Dr. Nuria Gomez-Casanovas
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 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 and energy security
  • environmental security
  • land use
  • biodiversity
  • biochemistry
  • productivity
  • yields
  • greenhouse gases
  • water quality
  • biogeochemistry
  • soil health
  • ecosystems services
  • climate change
  • global change

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Farm Production Diversity: Is It Important for Dietary Diversity? Panel Data Evidence from Uganda
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031028 - 31 Jan 2020
Abstract
The substantial existence of malnutrition globally, especially in developing countries, has usually driven policy initiatives to focus on improving household food security and nutrition primarily through prioritizing farm production diversity. Although indeed some empirical evidence has pointed to farm production diversity remedying malnutrition, [...] Read more.
The substantial existence of malnutrition globally, especially in developing countries, has usually driven policy initiatives to focus on improving household food security and nutrition primarily through prioritizing farm production diversity. Although indeed some empirical evidence has pointed to farm production diversity remedying malnutrition, other evidence has pointed to markets. Therefore, evidence is mixed and may be country or region variant. To contribute to closing such a gap in the literature, we used three waves of national panel survey data from Uganda and panel regression models to investigate associations between farm production diversity and dietary diversity, as well as impact pathways. We found that farm production diversity was positively and significantly associated with household dietary diversity. Farm production diversity influenced dietary diversity through own farm production, and market consumption food security pathways. The own farm production pathway showed a stronger associated impact. Increasing food expenditure by 1000 UGX via own farm production yielded an eight percentage point increment in household dietary diversity, while an equal expenditure via markets yielded a 5.3 percentage point increment. We also found existence of gender effects. Male headed households were associated with relatively poorer household dietary diversity. These findings could have broader implications for countries practicing smallholder agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Agriculture to Meet Food, Fiber and Energy Demands)
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Open AccessArticle
Advancing Food Security through Agroecological Technologies: The Implementation of the Biointensive Method in the Dry Corridor of Nicaragua
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030844 - 23 Jan 2020
Abstract
In contrast with international food assistance programs, or with the new green revolution based on the sustainable intensification of agriculture, this work proposes an agroecological technology to overcome food insecurity problems in countries like Nicaragua, most especially in rural areas. In particular, it [...] Read more.
In contrast with international food assistance programs, or with the new green revolution based on the sustainable intensification of agriculture, this work proposes an agroecological technology to overcome food insecurity problems in countries like Nicaragua, most especially in rural areas. In particular, it analyzes the effects of implementing the biointensive method—an agroecological food production initiative that is highly labor-intensive, but requires little land—in various communities of the Dry Corridor in Nicaragua. This project is the result of establishing an international consortium for development cooperation where grassroots communities played a prominent role. The main results are an improvement in local food security and a strengthening of the communities’ capacity to face major challenges arising from poverty and climate change, the effects of which are increasingly noticeable in Central America. The main weakness identified is that the necessary tropicalization of the method has not been sufficiently tested, for a two-year period is too short a time to transform the prevailing rural development dynamics significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Agriculture to Meet Food, Fiber and Energy Demands)
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