Innovative pasture cropping: An ecological approach to farming

Ndungi Mungai, Colin Seis

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

Growing human populations lead to increased demand for food while, at the same time, built environments take over agricultural lands and cause concerns about food security (Brown, 1981; Godfray et al., 2010). In the past, advances in agricultural technologies have made it easy to clear large swathes of land and increase productivity based on high-yielding crop and pasture varieties and improved livestock breeds, use of irrigation water and chemical inputs (Kemp & Michalk, 2007;Tscharntke et al., 2012; Norton & Reid, 2013). There are problems that arise in this process such as the clearance of native vegetation to make way for agriculture,which leads to destruction of the natural ecosystems and risks desertification, loss of soil nutrients and species extinction (Pimentel & Pimentel, 1990; Primack, 2014).The clearance of native vegetation for pasture or farmed crops, for example, leads to declines in soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen, and hence to deterioration of soil health and the environment generally, due to increased emissions of major greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane(CH4) (Dalal, Thornton, & Cowie, 2013). The future development of agriculture will require a greater focus on the environmental impacts of agricultural production and the potential for agriculture to benefit from ecosystem services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood production and nature conservation
Subtitle of host publicationConflicts and solutions
EditorsIain J. Gordon, Herbert H.T. Prins, Geoff R Squire
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter11
Pages223-237
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315717289
ISBN (Print)9781138859371, 9781138859395
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Fingerprint

Cite this

Mungai, N., & Seis, C. (2017). Innovative pasture cropping: An ecological approach to farming. In I. J. Gordon, H. H. T. Prins, & G. R. Squire (Eds.), Food production and nature conservation: Conflicts and solutions (pp. 223-237). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315717289