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Li X.,Huazhong Agricultural University | Li X.,CIMMYT Impacts Targeting and Assessment Unit | Waddington S.R.,CIMMYT Impacts Targeting and Assessment Unit | Dixon J.,Australian Center for International Agricultural Research | And 2 more authors.
Food Security | Year: 2011

Variation in water availability is a major source of risk for agricultural productivity and food security in South Asia. Three hundred and thirty expert informants were surveyed during 2008-09 to determine the relative importance of drought and water-related constraints compared with other constraints limiting the production of four major food crops (wheat, rice, sorghum, chickpea) in five broad-based South Asian farming systems. Respondents considered drought an important constraint to crop yield in those farming systems that are predominantly rainfed, but associated it with low yield losses (well below 10% of all reported losses) for crops in farming systems with well-developed irrigation. In these systems, other water-related constraints (including difficult access to sufficient irrigation water, the high cost of irrigation, poor water management, waterlogging and flooding of low-lying fields) were more important. While confirming the importance of drought and water constraints for major food crops and farming systems in South Asia, this study also indicated they may contribute to no more than 20-30% of current yield gaps. Other types of constraint, particularly soil infertility and the poor management of fertilizer and weeds for the cereals, and pests and diseases for chickpea, contributed most yield losses in the systems. Respondents proposed a wide range of interventions to address these constraints. Continued investments in crop-based genetic solutions to alleviate drought may be justified for food crops grown in those South Asian farming systems that are predominantly rainfed. However, to provide the substantial production, sustainability and food security benefits that the region will need in coming decades, the study proposed that these be complemented by other water interventions, and by improvements to soil fertility for the cereals and plant protection with chickpea. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology. Source

Langeveld J.W.A.,Biomass Research | Dixon J.,Australian Center for International Agricultural Research | van Keulen H.,Wageningen University | Quist-Wessel P.M.F.,Biomass Research
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2014

Estimates on impacts of biofuel production often use models with limited ability to incorporate changes in land use, notably cropping intensity. This review studies biofuel expansion between 2000 and 2010 in Brazil, the USA, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Mozambique, South Africa plus 27 EU member states. In 2010, these countries produced 86 billion litres of ethanol and 15 billion litres of biodiesel. Land use increased by 25 Mha, of which 11 Mha is associated with co-products, i.e. by-products of biofuel production processes used as animal feed. In the decade up to 2010, agricultural land decreased by 9 Mha overall. It expanded by 22 Mha in Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Mozambique, some 31 Mha was lost in the USA, the EU, and South Africa due to urbanization, expansion of infrastructure, conversion into nature, and land abandonment. Increases in cropping intensity accounted for 42 Mha of additional harvested area. Together with increased co-product availability for animal feed, this was sufficient to increase the net harvested area (NHA, crop area harvested for food, feed, and fiber markets) in the study countries by 19 Mha. Thus, despite substantial expansion of biofuel production, more land has become available for non-fuel applications. Biofuel crop areas and NHA increased in most countries including the USA and Brazil. It is concluded that biofuel expansion in 2000-2010 is not associated with a decline in the NHA available for food crop production. The increases in multiple cropping have often been overlooked and should be considered more fully in calculations of (indirect) land-use change (iLUC). © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Sutherland H.,Deeargee | Scott J.M.,University of New England of Australia | Gray G.D.,Australian Center for International Agricultural Research | Woolaston R.R.,30 Airlie Road
Animal Production Science | Year: 2013

A unique project led by livestock producers, called the Cicerone Project, was undertaken on the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia, following acknowledgement by those producers of a widening gap between them and research and extension information. The overall aim of the project was to co-learn, through a partnership between livestock producers, research, extension and other specialists, how to improve the profitability and sustainability of grazing enterprises in that region. It was hypothesised that closer engagement would help to guide relevant research efforts and also enhance the adoption of research findings. With the support of industry funding and the collaboration of key research, education and extension partners, the inaugural steering committee of the Cicerone Project commissioned a survey of over 300 land managers in the region to explore their research and adoption needs. The survey identified the most important issues and found a high level of commitment to the formation of this producer-led project. Negotiations between all collaborators led to the creation of a Business Plan prepared as the basis for an initial funding period of 5 years. Subsequent reviews of the project allowed for extensions with associated activities over an additional 4 years. In order to study the key farm management alternatives identified from the producer survey, the Cicerone Project Board decided to adopt an agricultural ecosystem approach which conducted studies using three whole-farmlet systems. The farmlet experiment compared three contiguous farmlets by measuring as many aspects of the farm systems as possible using an approach summarised in the motto adopted by the Cicerone Project of 'compare-measure-learn-adopt'. A wide range of field days and seminars were held over the duration of the project to deliver the results to the producer members. This paper provides an introduction to a Special Issue containing 24 papers which report on the entirety of the project from planning, to execution, results, and reflections on the value obtained from the many research and extension activities, with particular emphasis on the farming systems trial conducted between 2000 and 2006. Source

Bartlett A.G.,Australian National University | Bartlett A.G.,Australian Center for International Agricultural Research
Australian Forestry | Year: 2016

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) commissions collaborative agriculture, fisheries and forestry research projects in developing countries. Over a 30-year period, ACIAR has invested over AUD 100 million to fund 150 forestry projects and activities in 29 countries, with most of these projects implemented in Indonesia, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea. This article describes the approach that ACIAR uses to develop and implement projects, and reviews the nature of the ACIAR Forestry Program and its achievements during each decade of its existence. About three-quarters of the research projects have focused on aspects of smallholder and community forestry systems. The findings from a series of independent impact assessment studies, which demonstrate generally high returns on the forestry research investment, are reviewed and some examples of different categories of impacts from the research projects are discussed. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Source

Herrero M.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Thornton P.K.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Notenbaert A.M.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Wood S.,International Food Policy Research Institute | And 13 more authors.
Science | Year: 2010

Farmers in mixed crop-livestock systems produce about half of the world's food. In small holdings around the world, livestock are reared mostly on grass, browse, and nonfood biomass from maize, millet, rice, and sorghum crops and in their turn supply manure and traction for future crops. Animals act as insurance against hard times, and supply farmers with a source of regular income from sales of milk, eggs, and other products. Thus, faced with population growth and climate change, small-holder farmers should be the first target for policies to intensify production by carefully managed inputs of fertilizer, water, and feed to minimize waste and environmental impact, supported by improved access to markets, new varieties, and technologies. © 2010 American Association for the Advancement for Science. All Rights Reserved. Source

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