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Estimated feedstock efficiency and environmental impacts

Year: 2012 Author: Nieves Lopez Izquierdo
The negative consequences of iLUC have been hotly debated. Recent debate has focused increasingly on a pragmatic approach to reducing the need for land, thereby reducing risks from direct and indirect changes in land use. These approaches include: • Using degraded and/or underused land where the risks of increased GHGs and the loss of biodiversity would be substantially lower. However, the process for identifying such land areas needs to be thorough, addressing soil recovery issues and scope for higher levels of agrochemical and water input to increase yields. • Using waste and residues, which requires a solid definition of waste and an assessment of competing uses, such as using organic residues to rebuild soil fertility. • Improving yields, particularly in regions where crop and land productivity are considerably lower and could still be improved without incurring risks associated with intensive agriculture. • Using an agricultural-systems approach, which integrates both biomass production for various end-uses and conservation measures. For example, one approach could be IFES designed to integrate, intensify and thus increase the simultaneous production of food and energy. Conservation agriculture is an approach for ‘resource-saving agricultural crop production that strives to achieve acceptable profits together with high and sustained production levels while concurrently conserving the environment’ (IFAD). • Encouraging efficiency improvements in agricultural production to maximise output per unit of input.
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