Elucidating Local Food Production to Identify the Principles and Challenges of Sustainable Agriculture

Oren Shelef, Heather Slinn, Jesús D. Fernández-Bayo, Yigal Achmon, Yonatan Sher, Valeria Ancona

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Sustainable agriculture is the use of biological sources to produce food and fiber, among other products, while considering the environmental impacts. Herein, the use of local plants and animals is elucidated. This issue reflects many of the challenges and the potential of industrial and sustainable use of biologic resources. First, the definition of agriculture to include any foundational, initial steps of consumable goods (even when it does not implicitly involve cultivation of farms and land per se) is expected. Sustainable agriculture stands on four pillars: land management, resource management, human interface, and the ecosystem interface. The aim of this chapter is to explain the many ways in which local plants and animals are used. Domestication is one of the key advancements of humanity, which resulted in profound impacts on human diet, transport, social structure, economy, and more. These developments rooted in the cradle of domestication and agriculture resulted in a considerable change in plant and human dispersion, and today more food is consumed and exported long distances from its original homeland. To date, research and practical efforts are allocated to improve the use of existing crops rather than increasing the crop diversity by incorporating more species, some of which are already used locally. The commercial use of new crops has vast potential, but also many risks that we tackle in the next part of this chapter. The main advantages to explore local plants and animals and the challenges associated with their use are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Food Systems from Agriculture to Industry
Subtitle of host publicationImproving Production and Processing
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9780128119358
ISBN (Print)9780128119617
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological resource
  • Domestication
  • Local food
  • Plant exploitation
  • Sustainable agriculture


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