On Energy and Agriculture

Marchetti, C. (1979). On Energy and Agriculture. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-79-011

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Energy analysis shows that, since the neolithic, agriculture has developed as a technology to reduce the amount of land necessary to support a given population. All technical discoveries and inventions were eventually bent to this final objective: intensification.

The ratio of food-energy output per energy input, on the other hand, did remain remarkably constant, around a value of 40, till agriculture operated on a bootstrap basis.

Basically, after World War II, the large-scale use of fossil fuels via machines and fertilizers drastically changed the trends, leading to an escalation in energy consumption per unit of product.

The trend appears reversible, and the proper processes to be supported in view of a judicious long-term energy management are indicated.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Energy Program (ENP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:46
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:09
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/1172

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