Sustainable Intensification in FAO

Sustainable Crop Production Intensification (SCPI) in FAO



Sustainable intensification of crop production is Strategic Objective A of FAO. Through this Strategic Objective, FAO provides member countries with technologies, policies, knowledge, information and capacity building so they can increase their crop productivity and profitability throughout time. This is achieved through: production systems and crop management technologies that increase productivity without adverse effect on natural resources, enhancing climate change resilience and input-use efficiency, and creating enabling an environment so farmers can competitively participate in markets; eco-friendly reduction in field and post-harvest losses from abiotic and biotic stresses; and conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for development of improved crop varieties and their deployment through pro-smallholder seed systems. AGP promotes crop production intensification using the ecosystem approach, including technical and policy considerations. 


SCPI allows countries to achieve sustainable increases in agricultural productivity through an ecosystem approach, by providing technical and policy assistance in four areas 


a)      Increasing agricultural productivity through improved use of resources to achieve higher yields while promoting the sustainability of the farming systems and progressing from subsistence farming to market-oriented agriculture, supported by Conservation Agriculture (CA) and Integrated Plant Nutrient Management (IPNM).

b)      Enhancing sustainable crop protection through Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and through the implementation at national level of globally agreed instruments such as the International Plant Protection Convention and the Rotterdam Convention to minimize pest problems, misuse of pesticides, and environmental pollution.

c)      Managing biodiversity and ecosystem services, through identification and use of mechanisms for valuing agricultural biodiversity and ecosystem services, in addition to sound agronomic practices (crop, soil, nutrient and water efficient management); and

d)      Strengthening livelihoods using the benefits of increased productivity and diversification within the value chain, including through providing the conditions for access to good agricultural practices and knowledge, quality seeds, post-harvest and agro-processing technologies, food safety systems, markets and credit.


Sustainable Intensification of Crop Production

  • Strategic Objective A is one of the principal responses to anticipated growing demands for food and other agricultural products. It is rooted in the requirement for FAO’s Members to increase crop productivity and quality, based on science-based sustainable practices, to improve resource use efficiency, and thereby also contributing to meet broader food security, rural development and livelihoods enhancement aims.


©FAO/Giulio Napolitano