Challenges arising from global economic and population growth, pervasive rural poverty, degrading natural resources in agriculture land use, and climate change are forcing ecological sustainability elements to be integrated into agricultural production intensification. The situation has been exacerbated by the fact that the quality and direction of the dominant, tillage-based, agricultural production systems world-wide, and the agricultural supply chains that support them, have moved dangerously off course onto a path of declining productivity and increasing negative externalities (MEA, 2005; WDR, 2008; McIntyre et al., 2008; Foresight, 2011). This path is considered to be unsustainable ecologically as well as economically and socially, and is being driven by the consequences of unquestioned faith and reliance on the dominant ‘industrialised agriculture’

mentality of technological interventions of genetics and agrochemicals in tillage-based agriculture (DEFRA, 2002, 2008; Kassam, 2008).