To meet increased demand for food spurred by a larger and richer population, FAO projects that global agricultural production in 2050 will be 60 percent
higher than in 2005/07. Most of this increase in production over the next 40 years is expected to derive from improved yields (FAO 2012).
This brief presents a model-based examination of short and long-term trade-offs between two alternate agricultural paradigms: industrial agriculture
dependent on agrochemicals, fuel-based mechanization and irrigation operations, etc.; and sustainable, low external input agriculture centered on preservation of soil organic matter (Pedercini, Zullich and Dianati 2014a, 2014b). The associated policy implications for long-term sustainability in agricultural yields, and food security, are huge.
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