Agriculture faces an enormous global challenge of feeding nine billion people by 2050. This means a comprehensive intensification of agriculture is required. Ecological intensification is gaining momentum as a clearly defined vision for increasing agriculture productivity and sustainability. How ecological intensification could be tailored to benefit smallholder farming systems in sub Saharan Africa (SSA) remains the major question. In this study, we develop pathways relying on ecological intensification technologies and suiting different farm types of smallholder agriculture. This study relies on multiyear engagements with agricultural experts and smallholder farmers in Ha Lambani, South Africa and leads to the identification of farmer groupings. We analyse 40 in-depth semi structured interviews with farmers which leads to the identification of farming patterns and constraints. We present how farming systems analysis of challenges and constraints helps to identify and link specific ecosystem services with suitable ecological intensification options. We conclude that the expert-based classification of farmers offered a more contextualized representation of farming system heterogeneity, where tailored ecological intensification technologies could play a major role in improving agricultural productivity. Beyond this community, it emphasizes the need to consider farmers type heterogeneity as a strong decision parameter for targeting ecological intensification.
|Journal||African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development|
|Early online date||24 Jan 2019|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2019|