Anticipation? What will the next generation grow in the Torres Strait?
Floods in BangladeshReplace chickens with ducks
Outline• New industries, climate change and resilience• New industries for future climates• Can we get there?
Challenge• Existing agricultural industries challenged by climate change under warmer and drier climates with more extreme events.• Farmers need viable new industry options and systems with an increased range of climatic suitabilities.• Need prediction but also need preparedness (Hayman)
Are we prepared?• Traditional agricultural systems, maximising production• Focus on increasing productivity - decrease resilience.• Climatic shocks larger and more frequent.• Climatic shock – need flexibility
Our staples• 50% of human energy is provided by only 3 cereal species – rice, wheat and maize• About 22 crops feed the world.……a dangerous vulnerability…….
Diverse systems are more resilientto extreme climatic events• Increase diversity - reduce risk• Range of crops at different stages of production cycle at a point in time.• Crops with particular defences• Not all production affected.Risk distribution agronomy vs profit maximisingagronomy (Swaminathan)
New industries have a vital role intransforming agriculture Adapted from Howden 2009, Barlow 2010
Do we have options ready? • 20,000 plant species eaten in the world. • 100 to advanced agronomic level. • ‘’New” industries offer: • increased profitability and sustainability • diversification and resilience • new products and jobs • carbon sequestration
Crops for the FutureAn internationalorganisationspearheading the driveto bring underutilisedcrops into themainstream
New Rural Industries Australia - the future of agriculture• entrepreneurial Australians investing in new and emerging industries• creating an environment for development and building of new, innovative, Australian rural industries through cooperation
New Industries for FutureClimates • Identifies regions and industries where climate change will alter the current mix of agricultural industries • Determines plant traits required for future climates • Suggests new industries that meet these criteriaCullen, Thorburn, Meier, Howden and Barlow, 2010
Irrigation water availability, quality and price key drivers of change in MDBCrop Water Resilience to Salinity tolerance requirement for drought/ Low full production irrigation water New industries – resilient irrigated cropsOlives High High ModerateDates Very High High Very HighJojoba High High ModeratePomegranates High High ModerateQuandong, bush Low-Moderate High Hightomato, desert limeCacti Low High HighCapers Low High High Traditional industries – high value irrigated cropsWine grapes High Low ModerateCitrus High Low Low Cullen, Thorburn, Meier, Howden andPomefruit High Low Low Barlow 2010
Olive$ more resilient to variable watersupply than citrus 2500 Gross value of irrigation ($/ML irrigation applied) 2000 1500 Olive Citrus 1000 500 0 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% Irrigation allocation Gross value of irrigation in olive and citrus orchards at different levels of irrigation availability Cullen, Thorburn, Meier, Howden and Barlow 2010
New crops with higher tolerance to salinity Soil salinity threshold (ECe dS/m) 20 18 16 14 Pomefruit & Citrus 12 Olive 10 Grape 8 Date palm 6 4 2 0 0 10 25 50 Yield loss (% ) Soil salinity threshold (dS/m) for 0, 10, 25 and 50% yield loss in pomefruit, citrus, olives, grapes and date palm.
CAM WUE- higher than other crops Fruit crop Yield tons/hectare Irrigation Water use m3 water ha-1year-1 efficiency t fruit/ML water C3 Crops Peach 12 6280 1.9 Various Citrus 35-80 10,000-12,000 3.5-6.6 CAM Crops Koubo 25 1200-1600 15.6-20.8 Vine cacti 35 1200-1600 21.9-29.2 Mizrahi, 2010
Dryland agricultureQuinoa cultivated in the Andesfor 5,000 years • Subsistence agriculture in the Andean Highlands is exposed to drought, frost, wind, hail, salinity and soil erosion Jon Clements
Quinoa• Salt tolerance grows successfully where soil salt concentrations are as high as that of seawater.• Drought tolerance grows in sand where annual rainfall is only 200 mm. Deep root system, vesicles on young plants & low osmotic potential• Frost tolerance can survive temperatures as low as –8°C for 2–4 h• Yields 1.5-3 t/ha• Nutritional values • Compared to rice - 20 x Calcium &15 x Iron. • Compared to wheat - 2 x Calcium & 4 x Iron. • Comparable levels of amino acids to wheat, and contains an amino acid, lysine, which normally isn’t found in vegetable proteins.
Dryland agricultureNative Australian grasses “major dependence” by aboriginal tribes on milled grass grains for food • Low water requirement for growth and survival • Low fertility requirement • New food, pasture and bioenergy options Ian Chivers, Native Seeds Pty Ltd
National Expenditure on Rural Related R & D • $1.66 billion(Core 2009) or $2.9billion spent annually on rural related R&D • $13 million spent on new & emerging rural industries R & D (RIRDC, National R, D and E Strategy New and Emerging Industries 2010) • ie 0.8% or less of the total rural R & D budget is spent on new and emerging rural industries • Is the balance right between incrementalism and transformation? (Sounness)
Why not?• Temptation to look for quick fixes, short term funding and trivialisation of innovative approaches• “She’ll be right” (traditional Australian approach)• Insurance value of diversity not easily detected most agricultural research (Jackson et al.)• Resilience approach conflicts with current policy doctrines eg economic efficiency removes so-called redundancies – ie sources of resilience (Walker 2010)
Why not?• new industries high risk and often fail• inadequate availability of information• general lack of awareness means: • insufficient attention to creation of a favourable policy environment for new and emerging industries • underinvestment in R & D• seems too hard – easier to accept the status quo and incremental improvements in crops we are used to• we are not uncomfortable enough to drive change - yet
All Australian agriculturalindustries were once newindustries
We will be eating some foodfrom new crops And remember - it’s only kinky the first time Ian Godwin