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  • Articles  (1,455)
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  • Articles  (1,455)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2020-05-25
    Description: Globally, the agricultural sector is facing many challenges in response to climate change, unsustainable farming practices and human population growth. Despite advances in technology and innovation in agriculture, governments around the world are recognizing a need for transformative agricultural systems that offer solutions to the interrelated issues of food security, climate change, and conservation of environmental and cultural values. Approaches to production are needed that are holistic and multisectoral. In planning for future agricultural models, it is worth exploring indigenous agricultural heritage systems that have demonstrated success in community food security without major environmental impacts. We demonstrate how indigenous practices of customary harvest, operating in multifunctional landscapes, can be scaled up to service new markets while still maintaining natural and cultural values. We do this through a case analysis of the wild harvest of Kakadu plum fruit by Aboriginal people across the tropical savannas of northern Australia. We conclude that this system would ideally operate at a landscape scale to ensure sustainability of harvest, maintenance of important patterns and processes for landscape health, and incorporate cultural and livelihood objectives. Applied to a variety of similar native products, such a production system has potential to make a substantial contribution to niche areas of global food and livelihood security.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2020-05-23
    Description: Assessment of multiple land use functions promotes both utilization efficiency of land and regional coordination. Different personal and public products and services are offered by various land use types, meaning their functionality varies. Lack of judgment on temporal trends, turning points, or consideration of multi-source indicators like the ecological and air quality index leads to uncertainties in urban multifunctionality evaluation and functional orientation. In this study, the production-living-ecology land use function index system and evaluation process was improved using an entropy weight, triangle model, and coupling coordination degree. The production-living-ecology land use function (PLELUF) is defined from land use multi-functions. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration was the representative area. The model was applied to quantify land use functions and measure spatio-temporal coordination and conflict from 1990 to 2015. Results found that the production and living functions displayed an overall upward trend and the growth rate of production function is larger, doubling from 1990 to 1995, while living function increases steadily. Ecology function remained steady from 1990 to 2000 but increased afterward. Land use function stage became balanced in ecology-living-production after 2005. No function-balanced cities existed in 1990; nine function-balanced cities were found in 2015. The coupling coordination degree increased from a slight conflict to a high coordination. Land use multi-functionality was high in the north and low in the south in 2015; Beijing had the most significant multifunctionality. This study can aid land use zoning and sustainable land management.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2020-05-22
    Description: Many land use systems in Mediterranean sloping areas risk abandonment because of nonprofitability, while their hydro-geological stability depends on an appropriate management. However, who are the land managers? What are their practices? Our research on the traditional olive groves of the Monte Pisano (Tuscany, Italy) reveals for the first time the quantitatively important role of hobby farmers as land managers in the area. We used a three-step-method: first, a database was constructed using several data sources to identify and map the population of olive growers; then, 35 semi-structured interviews were conducted, and finally, the data were analyzed to highlight the contribution of olive growers to the land management, along with their motivations and constraints. Our results found that hobby farmers constitute about 90% of all land managers in the study area and manage more than half of the agricultural land. They are a very uneven group, and there are no clear categories detectable by analyzing sociodemographic factors, practices and farm characteristics. They are the “same but different”, not following any market rules, as they are not profit-oriented. Their farming practices are quite homogeneous and mainly in-line with professional farming practices of that area, oriented versus a minimum input management.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2020-05-22
    Description: With the increasing concentration of population and economic activities in metropolitan regions, dwelling shortages and housing quality have become critical issues in urban management. Town plans considering social, economic, political, and cultural features of local communities have been developed with the aim of supporting housing, especially in emerging economies. In Iran, the ‘Mehr Housing’ Plan has been considered as one of the most relevant strategies for social housing since the 2000s. However, the acceptance of ‘Mehr Housing’ plans at the community scale has been rather low, reflecting the fact that it is a top-down, non-participatory policy. The present study investigates the most important factors affecting social acceptance of ‘Mehr Housing’ plans by interviewing 45 experts through a structured questionnaire that evaluated multiple analyses’ dimensions of housing and urban planning in Iran. Results showed that six dimensions (physical, institutional-managerial, economic, socio-cultural, legal, and locational) had contributed to social dissatisfaction with ‘Mehr Housing’ local initiatives. In particular, socio-cultural and legal dimensions were demonstrated to have a large impact on local communities’ dissatisfaction.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2020-05-22
    Description: More than a decade has passed since the triple crises of food, energy and finance in the period 2007–2008. Those events turned global investor interest to agriculture and its commodities and thereafter the leasing of tens of millions of hectares of land. This article reviews and synthesizes the available evidence regarding the agricultural investments that have taken place in Ethiopia since that time. We use a systematic review approach to identify literature from the Web of Science and complement that with additional literature found via Google Scholar. Qualitative and quantitative methods are used to analyze the available literature. In so doing, we raise questions of data quality, by analyzing the evidence base used by many studies (the Land Matrix database) and compare it with data we obtained from the Government of Ethiopia. We find that while the Land Matrix is the largest available database, it appears to present only a fraction of the reality. In critically assessing the literature, we identify areas that have been under-researched or are missing from the literature, namely assessments of gendered impacts, the role of diaspora and domestic investors, interdisciplinary approaches (e.g., integrating climate change, biodiversity, and water), and studies that move beyond technical assessment, such as looking at the impacts on traditional knowledge and socio-cultural systems.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2020-05-21
    Description: Settlement system development is currently one of the basic objectives in land use planning, which is significant for Belarus, as it is the most urbanized country in the European region. Historical-genetic analysis is the most effective approach for studying the transformational changes in settlement systems. The research was aimed at analyzing the transformation peculiarities in the rural settlement system of Belarus. The core of the methodological basis lies in general scientific methods (systematic approach, historicism approach, historical-genetic method) and special interdisciplinary methods (cartographic analysis using GIS software). Historical-genetic analysis made it possible to identify the most significant historical periods in the formation of the rural settlement system in Belarus: pre-revolutionary, Soviet and recent. For each period, the pattern and spatial configuration of the rural settlement system were analyzed. Spatial changes in settlement pattern were highlighted: polarization, increasing the share and the population number of the “largest” settlements, the decreasing of “large” and “medium-sized” settlements and the degradation of “small” settlements. As a result, two types of rural settlement transformation were identified: “development” and “degradation”. Three ways of spatial configuration of the rural settlement system were identified: “relocation to city”, “relocation to the center of the settlement system” and “relocation to settlement”. Directions for future research are linked with conceptualizing the model of the spatial–territorial organizing of the rural settlement system.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2020-05-21
    Description: The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is a biotically important region of grassland, wetland, and cropland that traverses the Canada-US border. Significant amounts of grasslands and wetlands within the PPR have been converted to croplands in recent years due to increasing demand for biofuels. We characterized land dynamics across the US portion of the PPR (US–PPR) using the USDA Crop Data Layer (CDL) for 2006–2018. We also conducted a comparative analysis between two epochs (1998–2007 & 2008–2017) of the CDL data time series in the North Dakotan portion of the US–PPR. The CDL revealed the western parts of the US–PPR have been dominated by grass/pasture, to the north it was spring wheat, to the east and southern half, soybeans dominated, and to the south it was corn (maize). Nonparametric trend analysis on the major crop and land cover types revealed statistically significant net decreases in the grass/pasture class between 2006 and 2018, which accounts for more than a quarter of grass/pasture area within the US–PPR. Other crops experiencing significant decreases included sunflower (-5%), winter wheat (-3%), spring wheat (-2%), and durum wheat (-1%). The combined coverage of corn and soybeans exhibited significant net increases in 23.5% of its cover; whereas, the individual significant net increases were 5% for corn and 11% for soybeans. Hotspots of increase in corn and soybeans were distributed across North and South Dakota. Other crop/land covers with huge significant increases include other hay/non-alfalfa (15%), and alfalfa (11%), which appear to be associated with the sharp increase in larger dairy operations, mostly in Minnesota. Wetland area increased 5% in the US–PPR, due to increased precipitation as well as inundation associated with Devils Lake in North Dakota. Hotspots of decreasing grass/pasture area were evident across the study area. Comparative trend analysis of two epochs (1998–2007 vs. 2008–2017) in North Dakota revealed that grass/pasture cover showed a negligible net trend (-0.3 %) between 1998 and 2007; whereas, there was a statistically significant decrease of more than 30% between 2008 and 2017. Combined coverage of corn and soybeans experienced statistically significant net increases in both epochs: 11% greater during 1998–2007 and 17% greater during 2008–2017. Recent sharp losses of grasslands and smaller wetlands combined the expansion of corn, soybeans, and alfalfa bode ill for wildlife habitat and require a re-examination of agricultural and energy policies that have encouraged these land transitions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2020-05-21
    Description: The aim of this research was to assess differences in the quantity and quality of herbage and invertebrate generalist predator abundance among permanent and temporary pastures. Two permanent pastures and four temporary ley pastures (either one year or two years since being sown) were monitored weekly for 10 weeks in the spring. Permanent pastures included a diverse range of native UK grass species, and temporary ley pastures were predominantly perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) with or without white clover (Trifolium repens). Weekly measurements of herbage height (in centimeters), herbage cover (fresh and dry matter in kg per hectare) and herbage density (fresh and dry matter in kg per hectare per centimeter) were obtained for each field, along with lycosid spider and carabid beetle abundance. Weekly pasture samples were used to obtain nutrient concentrations of dry matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF), ash, oil, sugars, digestible organic matter in the dry matter (DOMD) and metabolisable energy (ME) in the herbage as a measure of forage quality for grazing or harvesting. A linear mixed model was used to assess the effect of sward age, herbage density and height on herbage production, nutrient concentrations and invertebrate abundance. Although this study showed that permanent pastures were associated with lower nutrient concentrations of crude protein, ash, oil and ME compared to younger and predominantly perennial ryegrass pastures, the older pastures were associated with higher carabid numbers. Furthermore, permanent pastures had a higher density of dry matter herbage compared to younger pastures, and more dense and taller swards were associated with higher lycosid numbers. The study suggests that within pastures of 3 to 20 cm height, increasing the height and density of swards increases both ME and oil concentrations in herbage, therefore enhancing forage nutrient quality. Older and more permanent pastures can be beneficial for plant and invertebrate generalist predator populations, and still provide a useful source of nutrients for forage production.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2020-05-20
    Description: Women are an underappreciated economic force who, when empowered by association with a female organization, can be a catalyst for development. To assess the status of Indigenous rural women, as well as the mechanisms and impacts of their empowerment, this paper presents a case study of a community development approach based on the Masehual Siuamej Mosenyolchicacauani organization in Cuetzalan del Progreso, Puebla. The methodology used is a mixed-methods approach involving a literature review of two regional instruments: The Federal Program “Pueblos Mágicos” and the Land and Environmental Management Program “POET” for Cuetzalan. It also includes geo-data collection from public sources, empirical data collection from open-ended interviews, and focus group discussions with key informants from the Indigenous organization. The research found that, despite an inclusive legal and institutional framework, weak policy implementation and certain federal programs tend to segregate Indigenous communities. Mechanisms such as cultural tourism and inclusive land management programs, capacity building initiatives, and female associations have proven useful for empowering women and have had positive socioeconomic impacts on the community. The research concluded that female Indigenous associations are a tool to empower rural women, grant them tenure security, strengthen their engagement in decision making, and consolidate them as key stakeholders in community development.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2020-05-20
    Description: Available potassium (AVK) in the soil of cropland is one of the most important factors determining soil quality and agricultural productivity. Thus, it is crucial to understand the variation of AVK and its influencing factors for sustaining soil fertility and mitigating land degradation. Farm households are the ultimate land users, and their land-use behaviors inevitably play an important role in the variation of AVK. This paper, therefore, aims to explore the effects of households’ land-use behaviors on soil AVK from spatial and temporal perspectives. Taking an urban peripheral region in Northeast China as the study area, we firstly use geostatistics (Kriging interpolation) and GIS tools to map out the spatial AVK distributions in 1980, 2000, and 2010, based on soil sampling data points, and then assess the impacts of land-use behaviors on AVK using econometric models. The results show that, although the AVK content in the study area has a largely downward trend over the 30 years, there are distinct trends in different stages. The disparity of trends can be attributed to the changes in households’ land-use behaviors over time. The spatial variation of AVK is also substantial and intriguing: the closer to the urban area, the greater the decline of soil AVK content, while the farther away from the urban area, the greater the rise of soil AVK content. This spatial disparity can too be largely explained by the obvious differences in households’ land-use behaviors in various regions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-445X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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