There are five components to a sustainable health-enhancing food system: nutritious, healthier diets and safe food; less losses and waste; increased productivity on the existing crop and pasture land; preserved environment to lower resource intensity and the sound use of inputs; attractive economic opportunities for people locoing in rural areas involved in farming, and in the whole value chain. Sustainable intensification of the whole food system means increasing food production from existing farmland, while minimizing pressure from the environment. It is a framework that can be applied at different scales; the farm scale, the landscape scale, or the national scale. This is a holistic framework; the three major drivers of sustainable intensification are genetic intensification, or the improvement of crops and animal breeds, agro-ecological intensification, or the development of more diverse cropping systems with better agronomy, and socio-economic intensification, which involves policies, governance, and enabling the right kind of business environments to build social and human capital. This chapter looks at a case study of Uruguayan rice production. Goals, targets, and metrics for sustainable intensification can differ quite a bit with different crops, different countries, and different systems, so it important to focus on top priorities for change.
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