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Evaluating the Sustainable Intensification of arable farms Journal of Environmental Management

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francisco ArealORCiD


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Sustainable Intensification (SI) of agriculture has recently received widespread political attention, in both the UK and internationally. The concept recognises the need to simultaneously raise yields, increase input use efficiency and reduce the negative environmental impacts of farming systems to secure future food production and to sustainably use the limited resources for agriculture. The objective of this paper is to outline a policy-making tool to assess SI at a farm level. Based on the method introduced by Kuosmanen and Kortelainen (2005), we use an adapted Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to consider the substitution possibilities between economic value and environmental pressures generated by farming systems in an aggregated index of Eco-Efficiency. Farm level data, specifically General Cropping Farms (GCFs) from the East AnglianRiver BasinCatchment (EARBC), UK were used as the basis for this analysis. The assignment of weights to environmental pressures through linear programming techniques, when optimising the relative Eco-Efficiency score, allows the identification of appropriate production technologies and practices (integrating pest management, conservation farming, precision agriculture, etc.) for each farm and therefore indicates specific improvements that can be undertaken towards SI. Results are used to suggest strategies for the integration of farming practices and environmental policies in the framework of SI of agriculture. Paths for improving the index of Eco-Efficiency and therefore reducing environmental pressures are also outlined

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gadanakis Y, Bennett R, Park J, Areal FJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Environmental Management

Year: 2015

Volume: 150

Pages: 288-298

Print publication date: 01/03/2015

Online publication date: 18/12/2014

Acceptance date: 09/10/2014

ISSN (print): 0301-4797

ISSN (electronic): 1095-8630

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.10.005


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