Authors: Roberto Forte, Osborne Grant Clark
Identifier: CSBE22101
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Published in: CSBE-SCGAB Technical Conferences » AGM Charlottetown 2022

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Description: Conventional agriculture has shown considerable improvements in technology, yield, and production in the last 60 years. Moreover, conventional agriculture feeds over 7 billion people worldwide. However, several scientists agree that conventional agriculture is also causing environmental and land degradation, among other problems. A transition to agroecological systems has been proposed as one of the solutions to the current agricultural crisis. Such systems include permaculture, bio-intensive farming, and organic farming. The literature suggests that agroecological systems improve soil fertility, yield, and sequester carbon emissions. Hence our research aims to respond to the question, is the potential for ecological sustainability different in small scale agricultural production systems in Panama compared with each other and against conventional monoculture systems, using energy, production, and soil management indicators as a basis for comparison? To test this hypothesis, we will implement a combination of qualitative (Stakeholder Theory and Energy System Diagrams) and quantitative (System Dynamic Modeling and Emergy Analysis) tools to compare the sustainable performance of different agroecological systems against each other and a monoculture. This research aims to streamline smallholders' decision-making process in rural Panama to facilitate their transition to more ecologically sound agricultural systems. Moreover, the scientific community will benefit by either implementing/adapting this methodology. So, it will foster research and field trials to evaluate the impact of adopting more progressive and sustainable farming systems around the world.

Keywords: Ecological sustainability, smallholder, system dynamics modeling, soil quality, participatory process
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Date: 2022-07-24
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Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2022 Annual Conference, Charlottetow, PEI, 24-27 July 2022.
Session name: Environment and Climate Change1

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Publication type: Presentation
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Coverage: Panama
Language 1: en
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Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
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