Sustainable Intensification, Community, and the Montpellier Panel: A Meta-analysis of Rhetoric in Practice in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Anne M. Cafer University of Mississippi
  • Hua Qin University of Missouri–Columbia



Sustainable Intensification, Sub-Saharan Africa, Agricultural Development, Community, Natural Resource Management


Agriculture-led economic development, an impor­tant policy driver in sub-Saharan Africa, requires both agricultural intensification and environ­mentally sustainable resource management. Sus­tain­­able Intensification (SI) provides a mechanism for achieving both. However, SI within an SSA context has yet to be widely examined in the scholarly literature; it has been confined instead to technical briefs and white papers. This meta-analysis, conducted in 2015, examines 58 articles that focus on SI in SSA published between 2001 and 2015 and listed in prominent research data­bases (EBSCOhost, Agricola, and Google Scholar). This analysis uses the 2013 Montpellier Framework for Sustainable Intensification (Agriculture for Impact, 2013) to examine, critique, and find avenues for improvement in research within this emerging body of literature. Generally, the litera­ture adheres to major concepts within the Mont­pellier framework, with the exception of commu­nity. Despite the prominence of community within the Montepellier framework, incorporation of community processes was often accidental. This analysis also reveals that major components of SI, such as nutrition, food security, and income, are poorly operationalized and make an assessment of SI’s impact on socio-economic conditions and nutrition problematic. Based on this meta-analysis, the need for interdisciplinary engagement (a blending of bio­physical and social scientists) is clear. Additionally, there is a demonstrable need for the inclusion of measurable concepts of community within SI processes or outcomes.


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Author Biographies

Anne M. Cafer, University of Mississippi

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Mississippi; P.O. Box 1848; Room 543 Lamar Hall; University, Mississippi 38677

Hua Qin, University of Missouri–Columbia

Assistant Professor, Division of Applied Social Sciences, University of Missouri–Columbia; 216 Gentry Hall; Columbia, Missouri 65211



How to Cite

Cafer, A. M., & Qin, H. (2017). Sustainable Intensification, Community, and the Montpellier Panel: A Meta-analysis of Rhetoric in Practice in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 7(3), 123–137.