Agroecological Intelligence Needed to Prepare Agriculture for Climate Change
Gratefully, the quality of life for billions of people will improve drastically during the coming decades. This implies that the production of virtually every commodity will have to increase dramatically. Agriculture-related activities ought to provide food, feed, and non-edible plant-based products. The availability of natural resources per person will, however, continue to decline. Resource degradation like erosion, soil fertility decline, and water pollution further constrain production increases. Hence, the use efficiency of natural resources will have to be boosted drastically, while variability should be curtailed through enhanced buffering capacity of the production base to prevent shock in food systems. These changes in agricultural strategies also call for interdisciplinary research groups to seek for synergies between production factors. This paper provides an overview of the challenges to meet the above mentioned production conditions and stresses the need for agro-ecological intelligence in choosing agricultural development strategies and, therefore, in designing agro-ecosystems. Plant production is taken as a starting point where global change, including climate, are considered in an integral manner.
Plant production, Climate change