The rural poor differ widely with regard to their capabilities and the agro-ecological potential of the areas where they live. Thus, sustainable intensification is not just another optimization problem for ensuring higher productivity with less environmental impact. Rather it is a complex task of creating value through innovations in the institutional, organizational and technological systems of societies. Importantly, sustainable intensification is not only a challenge to be met by and within the agriculture sector alone, but by society as a whole. Relevant strategies can range from increasing crop harvest or diversity per area to increasing income opportunities outside agriculture.
This policy brief is based on the book chapter (open access): Gatzweiler FW and von Braun J (2016) Innovation for Marginalized Smallholder Farmers and Development: An Overview and Implications for Policy and Research. In FW Gatzweiler and J von Braun (eds.) Technological and Institutional Innovations for Marginalized Smallholders in Agricultural Development, Springer, pp. 1-22.