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Ciência Rural

Print version ISSN 0103-8478On-line version ISSN 1678-4596


KOZIOSKI, Gilberto Vilmar  and  CIOCCA, Maria de Lourdes Santorio. Energy and sustainability in agroecosystems. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2000, vol.30, n.4, pp.737-745. ISSN 0103-8478.

Food production systems presenfly practiced in Brazil anã m lhe worid are being subjected to questioning due to several factors, such as those associated to energy use. The objective of this review is to show some data about source and efficiency of energy use in animal and plant production and, moreover, about distribution ofits use in lhe wortd, relating this aspects to lhe sustainability of predominam food systems in the wortd and in Brazil. The main energy source presentty used in the productive process and in the ove rall food chain is derivedfrom petroleum, which worid reserves are limüed and estimated to exhaust around the middie ofthe next century. Moreover, the use of most part of the energy, and consequentiy most offood in the worid is produced and consumed by a small population in afew regions of the Northem Hemisphere. Finally, intensive production systems of animais and plants are more productive, but, on the other hand, are less efficient in te mis of energy use as comparta to less intensive systems. In Brazil, the greater part of plant and animal production come from intensive production systems and, moreover, plant systems are predominanfly of commercial and/or industrial character, m detrimental of alimentary systems. Thus, due to the great dependence of externai inputs, which are energy-expensive and exhaustíble. and to the food dependence and insecurity in Brcail, it is possible to consider Brazilian agroecosystems as fragile and unsustainable, needing a short temi revaluation as to public policies for this sector as well as to research objectives.

Keywords : agroecosystems; energy; sustainability.

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