Research Strategy Office

Tsukuba, Japan

Research Strategy Office

Tsukuba, Japan
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Iiyama M.,Research Strategy Office | Iiyama M.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | Neufeldt H.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | Njenga M.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | And 6 more authors.
Frontiers in Environmental Science | Year: 2017

The production of charcoal is an important socio-economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Charcoal production is one of the leading drivers of rural land-use changes in SSA, although the intensity of impacts on the multi-functionality of landscapes varies considerably. Within a given landscape, charcoal production is closely interconnected to agriculture production both as major livelihoods, while both critically depend on the same ecosystem services. The interactions between charcoal and agricultural production systems can lead to positive synergies of impacts, but will more often result in trade-offs and even vicious cycles. Such sustainability outcomes vary from one site to another due to the heterogeneity of contexts, including agricultural production systems that affect the adoption of technologies and practices. Trade-offs or cases of vicious cycles occur when one-offresource exploitation of natural trees for charcoal production for short-term economic gains permanently impairs ecosystem functions. Given the fact that charcoal, as an important energy source for the growing urban populations and an essential livelihood for the rural populations, cannot be readily substituted in SSA, there must be policies to support charcoal production. Policies should encourage sustainable technologies and practices, either by establishing plantations or by encouraging regeneration, whichever is more suitable for the local environment. To guide context-specific interventions, this paper presents a new perspective-the charcoal-agriculture nexus-aimed at facilitating the understanding of the socio-economic and ecological interactions of charcoal and agricultural production. The nexus especially highlights two dimensions of the socio-ecological contexts: charcoal value chains and tenure systems. Combinations of the two are assumed to underlie varied socio-economic and ecological sustainability outcomes by conditioning incentive mechanisms to affect the adoption of technologies and practices in charcoal and agriculture productions. Contrasting sustainability outcomes from East Africa are presented and discussed through the lens of the charcoal-agriculture nexus. The paper then concludes by emphasizing the importance of taking into account the two-dimensional socio-ecological contexts into effective policy interventions to turn charcoal-agriculture interactions into synergies. © 2017 Iiyama, Neufeldt, Njenga, Derero, Ndegwa, Mukuralinda, Dobie, Jamnadass and Mowo.

Kusano E.,Research Strategy Office | Chien H.,Japan International Research Center for Agricultural science | Chen Y.,China Agricultural University | Koyama O.,Research Strategy Office
Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly | Year: 2016

China's maize productivity and fertilizer consumption both have significant impact on global markets, and must be clarified through macro-level studies of Chinese maize yields. As such, this study used a crop response model to estimate the effects of fertilizer nutrients, seed input per unit area, and climate factors on maize yield. The results suggest that phosphorus and potassium inputs significantly affect maize yield, especially in major maize-producing areas. This study also confirmed the relationship between lower seed input per unit area and a higher yield.

Yasumoto S.,Japan National Agricultural Research Center | Matsuzaki M.,Japan National Agricultural Research Center | Hirokane H.,National Institute of Vegetable and Tea Science | Okada K.,Research Strategy Office
Plant Production Science | Year: 2010

In crop rotations that include rapeseed (Brassica napus L.), the growth of the crops following rapeseed is sometimes inhibited. The aim of this study was to assess the role of glucosinolates (GSLs) in the inhibitory effect. Three cultivars with zero erucic acid content (Asakano-natane, Kizakino-natane, Nanashikibu: single-low cultivars) and one cultivar with zero erucic acid and low GSL contents (Kirariboshi: double-low cultivar) were grown. The GSL contents differed greatly depending on plant part, stage of development, and cultivar. Progoitrin and gluconapin were detected mainly in the seeds of the single-low cultivars. Their contents either did not change or increased slightly during the reproductive stage. The double-low cultivar Kirariboshi contained almost none of either progoitrin or gluconapin in any part during the reproductive stage. Glucobrassicanapin, glucobrassicin, and gluconasturtiin were detected, mainly in the roots, of all four cultivars, and tended either to decrease or to remain steady as plants matured. Dense stands of rapeseed seedlings that had germinated from seeds dropped at harvest grew together with the subsequent crop. The GSL contents in the leaves and roots of these seedlings were high. These results suggest that the GSLs in the seeds of single-low cultivars, in the roots of both types at harvest, and in the leaves and roots of volunteer seedlings are the candidate cause of the generally observed phenomenon of inhibited growth of the crop following rapeseed.

Kusano E.,Research Strategy Office | Saizen I.,Kyoto University
Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly | Year: 2013

This paper evaluates the spatial linkages between the livestock product markets in Mongolia and the effects of road conditions on market transactions. It is based on the Engle-Granger test, an error correction model, and a model of market integration using the monthly price datasets of livestock products in Mongolia during 2005-2009. Empirical analysis indicates that the most and least integrated markets are the cashmere and milk markets, respectively. Extending paved roads might tighten the integration of the livestock products markets.

Shen Z.,Research Strategy Office | Kusano E.,Research Strategy Office | Chien H.,Research Strategy Office | Koyama O.,Research Strategy Office
Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly | Year: 2014

The purpose of this study is to propose an integrated projection methodology to manage the livestock industry in China sustainably and generate useful data in this context. To achieve this, we constructed a comprehensive set of models, comprising food supply-demand-, nitrogen balance-, and environmental evaluation models respectively. This study focuses on analyzing medium-and long-term projections of the supply-demand balance of nitrogen nutrients in the Huang-Huai-Hai region as well as on the environmental impact due to the influence of livestock products.

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