The devil is in the detail!

Sustainability assessment of African smallholder farming

Authored by: Wytze Marinus , Esther Ronner , Gerrie W. J. van de Ven , Fred Kanampiu , Samuel Adjei-Nsiah , Ken E. Giller

Routledge Handbook of Sustainability Indicators

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138674769
eBook ISBN: 9781315561103
Adobe ISBN:


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Indicators for sustainability are a hot and debated topic. Sustainable intensification of agriculture is also widely debated due to the divergent views on the future of agriculture and the wide variety of indicators used. Legumes are seen as a key option for sustainable intensification of smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We developed a framework for assessing the sustainability of contrasting farming systems to illustrate the complex balancing act involved, using a case study of the N2Africa project. N2Africa offers legume options to farmers in SSA ( We worked at farm household level and used a hierarchical framework of principles and criteria to select the indicators for sustainability.

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