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Carberry P.S.,CSIRO | Liang W.-L.,Agricultural University of Hebei | Twomlow S.,International Fund for Agricultural Development | Holzworth D.P.,CSIRO | And 5 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2013

Global food security requires eco-efficient agriculture to produce the required food and fiber products concomitant with ecologically efficient use of resources. This eco-efficiency concept is used to diagnose the state of agricultural production in China (irrigated wheat-maize double-cropping systems), Zimbabwe (rainfed maize systems), and Australia (rainfed wheat systems). More than 3,000 surveyed crop yields in these three countrieswere compared against simulated grain yields at farmer-specified levels of nitrogen (N) input. Many Australian commercial wheat farmers are both close to existing production frontiers and gain little prospective return from increasing their N input. Significant losses of N from their systems, either as nitrous oxide emissions or as nitrate leached from the soil profile, are infrequent and at lowintensities relative to their level of grain production. These Australian farmers operate close to ecoefficient frontiers in regard to N, and so innovations in technologies and practices are essential to increasing their production without added economic or environmental risks. In contrast, many Chinese farmers can reduce N input without sacrificing production through more efficient use of their fertilizer input. In fact, there are real prospects for the double-cropping systems on the North China Plain to achieve both production increases and reduced environmental risks. Zimbabwean farmers have the opportunity for significant production increases by both improving their technical efficiency and increasing their level of input; however, doing so will require improved management expertise and greater access to institutional support for addressing the higher risks. This paper shows that pathways for achieving improved eco-efficiency will differ among diverse cropping systems. Source


Wright H.,Imperial College London | Vermeulen S.,Copenhagen University | Laganda G.,International Fund for Agricultural Development | Olupot M.,African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services | And 2 more authors.
Climate and Development | Year: 2014

Climate change creates widespread risks for food production. As climate impacts are often locally specific, it is imperative that large-scale initiatives to support smallholder farmers consider local priorities and integrate lessons from successful autonomous adaptation efforts. This article explores how large-scale programmes for smallholder adaptation to climate change might link effectively with community-led adaptation initiatives. Drawing on experiences in Bangladesh, Mozambique, Uganda and India, this article identifies key success factors and barriers for considering local priorities, capacities and lessons in large-scale adaptation programmes. It highlights the key roles of extension services and farmers' organizations as mechanisms for linking between national-level and community-level adaptation, and a range of other success factors which include participative and locally driven vulnerability assessments, tailoring of adaptation technologies to local contexts, mapping local institutions and working in partnership across institutions. Barriers include weak governance, gaps in the regulatory and policy environment, high opportunity costs, low literacy and underdeveloped markets. The article concludes that mainstreaming climate adaptation into large-scale agricultural initiatives requires not only integration of lessons from community-based adaptation, but also the building of inclusive governance to ensure smallholders can engage with those policies and processes affecting their vulnerability. © 2014, © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. Source


Cohen A.,International Fund for Agricultural Development | Sullivan C.A.,Southern Cross University of Australia
Ecological Economics | Year: 2010

This paper describes the theoretical foundations and development of a multidimensional, water-focused, thematic indicator of rural poverty: The Water, Economy, Investment and Learning Assessment Indicator (WEILAI). The WEILAI approach was specifically designed for application in rural China, to support poverty alleviation project planning, monitoring and evaluation, as well as targeting and prioritization. WEILAI builds primarily on the basic needs framework of poverty alleviation, and on the methodological structure of the Water Poverty Index, to provide a proxy measure of an area's poverty by assessing eight key poverty sectors, with a strong focus on the components of water-poverty. The WEILAI approach was piloted and implemented in 534 households in China's mountainous southwest. This paper describes the indicator construction, weighting schemes, methodology, field sites, and statistical validation of the results. In addition, we discuss the results, feedback from in-country project staff, and the likely utility of the tool for project planning, monitoring and evaluation support. The paper concludes with a discussion of WEILAI's overall utility and ongoing development. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Gerlitz J.-Y.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development | Apablaza M.,Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative | Hoermann B.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development | Hunzai K.,International Fund for Agricultural Development | Bennett L.,International Center for Integrated Mountain Development
Mountain Research and Development | Year: 2015

(Figure Presented) Approximately 211 million people live in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region. Although poverty levels in this region are high, there is a lack of cohesive information on the socioeconomic status of its populations that would enable decision-makers to understand different manifestations of poverty and design effective poverty alleviation programs. Hence, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), in consultation with international and regional partners, has developed the Multidimensional Poverty Measure for the Hindu Kush-Himalayas (MPM-HKH). This measure aims to identify and describe poor and vulnerable households across the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region - which is predominantly rural and mountainous and covers several of the world's least developed countries - in a consistent manner. This article documents how the MPM-HKH was developed and demonstrates the utility of this approach, using Nepal as an example, by analyzing household survey data from 23 districts. The analysis gives important clues about differences in the intensity and composition of multidimensional poverty across these locations, which highlights the need for location-specific poverty alleviation strategies. The findings should help decision-makers to identify areas of intervention and choose the best measures to reduce poverty. © 2015 by the authors. Source


Kauffman S.,ISRIC World Soil Information | Droogers P.,FutureWater | Hunink J.,FutureWater | Mwaniki B.,Water Resources Management Authority | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystems Services and Management | Year: 2014

Food production, water availability and energy production are important ecosystem services of the Upper Tana basin (Kenya) and they decline due to upstream erosion affecting downstream water users. The effect of 11 soil conservation measures on soil erosion and the three ecosystem services was estimated by a modelling approach to assess agro-ecological processes and benefit/cost relations. Soil water available for evaporation and transpiration (green water) functioned as a unifying concept to express the effects of erosion and the impacts of soil and water conservation measures that result in: (1) increased water availability for crops; (2) increased fluxes towards aquifers, thereby increasing water supply and regulating streamflow, and (3) a reduction of erosion and siltation of reservoirs used for hydroelectricity. Modelling indicated that the three ecosystem services could be improved, as compared with the base level, by up to 20% by introducing appropriate conservation measures with benefit/cost relations of around 7. However, farmers were unable to make the necessary investments and much effort and many institutional studies were needed to achieve progress towards implementation by initiating the Green Water Credits (GWC) programme intended to arrange payments by downstream businesses to upstream farmers. A timeline analysis is presented to illustrate the slow, but persistent, development of transdisciplinary activities as a function of time using connected value development as a guiding principle. © 2014 Taylor and Francis. Source

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