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Research Suggests Identifying a Common Ground for Sustainable Agriculture in Europe
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: March 13, 2019 05:49AM

Agriculture plays a key role in achieving many of the Sustainable
Development Goals. However, a recent study conducted at Lund University in
Sweden reveals that researchers, policymakers, and farmers in Europe
currently have different, often conflicting priorities for sustainable

The researchers identified where the major gaps are in terms of observable
and measurable variables in sustainable agriculture. The study analyzed the
priorities given to 239 social and environmental variables potentially
important for sustainable agriculture. The analysis found shared consensus
among researchers, policymakers, and practitioners for 32 key variables
relating to policies on climate, environment and agriculture, as well as
subsidies and land ownership; on farm management choices including tillage
and use of fertilizers, irrigation, and pesticides; and on environmental
outcomes including soil and biodiversity. However, the research showed that
today, there is currently little alignment between research, policy, and
practice for sustainable agriculture in the EU.

The study presents three recommendations for researchers, policymakers, and

1. Researchers, policymakers, and farmers should consider the 32
variables identified as a starting point for future research, policy, and
farming decisions.

2. Researchers should work together with policymakers and farmers from
the beginning of a project, co-designing research and deliberately selecting
variables to be included.

3. Researchers should use concrete variables to quantitatively evaluate
tradeoffs between priorities, to enable policymakers and farmers to balance
these to achieve sustainable agriculture.


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