SUSTAINABLE INTENSIFICATION (SI)
Sustainable refers to the process of preserving the land and resources used to grow and produce crops. Intensification refers to amplifying the production and types of crops being grown to feed the increasing populations worldwide. Having to live around a limited supply of water, land, energy and other resources, sustainable intensification is a response to these shortages, while also a step towards being proactive in preserving our resources for the future.
Sustainable intensification aims to increase the amount of food being produced while minimizing the negative impact on the environment. Through this implementation, we hope to see a decline in global hunger and poverty, and an improvement in the nutritional value of the crops being grown.
With a billion people living in extreme poverty, often relying on farming for meager livelihoods, and a growing population competing for limited land and water resources, there is an urgent need for a systems approach in developing appropriate-scale mechanization to advance sustainable intensification for smallholder farming systems. Inclusive SI approaches, such as integrated pest management, conservation farming, crop rotation, and agro-forestry, improved timeliness in farm activities and precision application of seeds, fertilizer, herbicide, and water conservation technologies at appropriate scales.
ASMC introduces mechanized technologies that are technically, environmentally, and economically appropriate for use by smallholder farmers. Such technologies sustainably reduce poverty among smallholder by contributing to enhanced labor and increased land productivity.
The overall objective of this project is to integrate social, economic, and environmental impacts, as we work towards sustainably intensifying smallholder farmers’ cropping systems and on-farm operations through mechanization.
A USER-CENTRIC SYSTEMS APPROACH
The ASMC has adopted a user-centric systems approach to interventions for agricultural advancement via mechanization. This approach engages all local stakeholders including: farmers, manufacturers, researchers, government agencies, non-governmental organization, and students to ensure that the needs of the local communities are addressed and prioritized in the identifying, developing, and/or adopting of appropriate scale mechanization technologies.
Innovation Hubs provide a centralized zone of activity, knowledge, training and innovation to support Sustainable Intensification. They create an ecosystem of innovation by engaging all stakeholders in participatory research to identify the areas of greatest need for mechanization, as well as provide input during design and development. The ASMC provides training and field demonstrations to help motivate farmers to experiment with and adopt technology.
Field Hubs provide resources and localized services for engaging and empowering farmers, women, and youth through training as well as demonstrations of equipment and different agricultural practices. On-site research projects facilitate equipment development, evaluation and system-level impacts.