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Feeding the world without costing the earth

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Opinions over how to limit the immense impact of agriculture on the rest of biodiversity are divided: is it better to retain on-farm wildlife but at the cost of lowering yields, or to increase yields, limit the area needed for farming and thereby retain larger areas under natural habitats – or indeed something between the two? Professor Andrew Balmford will introduce a model designed to answer this question, and review the empirical evidence to date. He will conclude that this largely supports the second, so-called land-sparing approach to reconciling agriculture and farming, but that important questions remain: over the generality of these findings for different biota and for ecosystem services, over how best to increase yields while limiting environmental externalities, and over how to couple yield growth to habitat retention and restoration.

This talk is part of the Food Futures in the World series.

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