Sustainability Assessment of Annual and Permanent Crops: The Inspia Model
Triviño Tarradas, Paula María
Gómez-Ariza, Manuel R.
González Sánchez, Emilio Jesús
Best management practices
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The Initiative for Sustainable Productive Agriculture (INSPIA) project promotes best management practices for agriculture, to enhance the provision of ecosystem services through better stewardship of soil and water resources while ensuring high levels of productivity. This paper presents the INSPIA methodology for the assessment of sustainability and for guiding farmers on strategic decision-making at farm level, applicable to any kind of cropland. The methodology is based on the application of 15 best management practices, which are assessed through a set of 31 basic sustainability indicators that cover the economic, social and environmental dimensions both agreed by a panel of experts. Basic indicators are then grouped into 12 aggregated indicators, to build the final INSPIA composite index. The INSPIA methodology provides farmers and advisers with a tool to understand sustainability and which, to a certain extent, serves to improve performance toward sustainability. Results are presented in three different ways: a bar diagram with the whole set of basic indicator-values; a pie chart representing the sustainability split in the aggregated indicators; and a final sustainability index. In the medium and long term, the INSPIA methodology can help to monitor and assess agricultural and environmental policy implementation, as well as help improve its decision-making processes in the future.