Sustainable smallholder intensification in global change? Pivotal spatial interactions, gendered livelihoods, and agrobiodiversity

Karl Stephen Zimmerer, Judith A. Carney, Steven J. Vanek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

37 Scopus citations


Sustainable intensification (SI) and ecological intensification (EI) are promoted globally to strengthen food security and ensure environmental sustainability. Recent focus on land and agri-food systems of smallholders urges we address SI and EI through rethinking crucial social-ecological processes and spatial patterns. Principal findings underscore: firstly, the dynamics of differentiated, relational spaces of smallholder intensification/disintensification at region and landscape scales that include a polarization trend; secondly, gendered livelihood strategies across spatially differentiated landscapes influenced by smallholder migration and expanded gendering of land and agri-food systems; and finally, complex interactions of agrobiodiversity and agroecosystems mediated by smallholder and gendered knowledge systems across peri-urban to remote rural landscapes. The conclusion discusses policy implications of the spatial, gender, and agrobiodiversity dynamics of smallholder SI/EI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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