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“Maize example-CIMMYT/Nepal or CSISA”, presented by Andrew McDonald, CIMMYT/Nepal at the ReSAKSS-Asia Conference, Nov 14-16, 2011, in Kathmandu, Nepal.

“Maize example-CIMMYT/Nepal or CSISA”, presented by Andrew McDonald, CIMMYT/Nepal at the ReSAKSS-Asia Conference, Nov 14-16, 2011, in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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  • 1. Sustainable intensification of cereals in Nepal: the example of maize Knowledge, tools, and lessons for informing the design and implementation of food security strategies in Asia. November 14 – 15, 2011 Kathmandu, Nepal Andrew McDonald* (a.mcdonald@cgiar.org) T.P. Tiwari Krishna Devkota D.P. Sherchan A.P. Regmi Tika Karki R.B. Katuwal Santosh Maratha *Regional Cropping Systems Agronomist CIMMYT – South Asia Regional Office
  • 2. Development ‘wars’ come to Nepal “…USAID/NEAT and Monsanto, in coordination with GoN, will implement a pilot project to promote the use of hybrid maize seeds in three districts…” News release, September 13, 2011 “Hybrid maize controversy: Government officials deny Monsanto deal.” Kathmandu Post, November 9, 2011 ‘…hybrid seeds in Nepal will have disastrous consequences as it will damage the soil and land leading to increased use of fertilizers thus decreasing… livelihoods in farming…’ Himalayan Times, November 12, 2011.
  • 3. The critics (paraphrased) ● Hybrids ‘need’ chemical fertilizers and will not grow without more external inputs ● Fertilizers ‘destroy’ soils and livelihoods ● Hybrids will disrupt the self-reliance of the majority of farmers ● Nepal will be at the mercy of the companies like Monsanto that will ‘force’ farmers to grow their seed ● USAID and other development agencies should support alternatives like organic farming in Nepal
  • 4. Do these debates matter? NGO advised this famer not to ‘damage’ his soil with fertilizers and he listened. Despite direct evidence to the contrary:
  • 5. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0 50 100 150 200 Maizeyield(tha-1) Nitrogen fertilizer (kg ha-1) OPV Hybrid On-farm, Nawalparasi District, 2011 Consistent yield advantage with hybrids under both high and low fertility. Hybrids can be advantageous low-input production environments. OPVs are responsive to fertilizers, but from a lower base. Partially-irrigated spring maize in a high rainfall year
  • 6. Low N scenario Yield (kg ha-1) Gross returns – seed costs ($ ha-1) Increase in net revenues with hybrid ($ ha-1) Hybrid maize 4000 1049 376 ‘Improved’ OPV 2500 673 -- High N scenario Yield (kg ha-1) Gross returns – seed costs ($ ha-1) Increase in net revenues with hybrid ($ ha-1) Hybrid maize 6300 1679 402 ‘Improved’ OPV 4700 1276 -- Substantial increase in net revenue with hybrids under high and low fertility after accounting for differential costs of seed. On-farm, Nawalparasi District, 2011
  • 7. Do fertilizers pay too? N fertilizer + hybrid seed more than doubles profitability in our data-set compared with un-fertilized OPVs
  • 8. Should hybrids be ‘off the table’ in un-irrigated, hill production systems? On-farm demonstrations, Palpa District, 2011
  • 9. Without the benefit of ‘niche’ markets, is organic production a viable alternative?Parba t Baglun g Myagdi Urea (kg ha- 56 49.4 44.2 DAP (kg ha- 28 20.8 41.2 FYM (fresh kg ha-1) 8932 Total nitrogen (kg ha- 1) 64 51 55 Maize yield (t ha-1) 1.7 1.8 1.9 Farmers in Nepal already make efficient use of available organics. Without significantly more inputs (of any kind), soil degradation, subsistence-type production, food insecurity, and poverty traps prevail. 15 tons of FYM ≈ 56 kg N ha-1
  • 10. Point #1: More than 12 maize hybrids have already been registered and formally released, including from Monsanto and NARC / NMRP. ‘Rampur Hybrid-2’ from NMRP proposed for release in July 2011. Point #2: The GoN has a multi-locational testing, registration, and release program for new varieties; companies do not decide which crop varieties and hybrids are released in Nepal. Point #3: Hybrids can generate substantial yield and economic benefits even in rainfed production ecologies and where fertilizer use is relatively low. Point #4: Whatever the (de)merits of GMOs, hybrids are not GMOs. Point #5: Many farms in the hills of Nepal are close to ‘de facto’ organic. Average household food sufficiency is less than 6 months in these systems. The status quo does not work.
  • 11. Nepal: small country, big extremes (temporal and spatial) Maize is the primary food staple in the mid-hills (70% of the national production), but these areas are chronically food deficient. Maize in the Terai is primarily a commercial crop utilized for feed – Nepal imports half of its required maize feed.. Increased maize production and profitability is essential for food security and livelihoods.
  • 12. Intensifying maize production and profits: what do farmers really need? Parbat Baglung Myagdi Fertilizer use Increased 0 4 0 Same 60 57 0 Decreased 40 39 100 FYM use Increased 12 0 0 Same 28 52 93 Decreased 60 48 7 Labor Increased 0 0 0 Same 32 22 0 Decreased 68 78 100 FYM / fertilizer use and agricultural labor is stagnating or declining in the hills. Variability/risk is high in rainfed ecologies
  • 13. Minimum or zero tillage Residue retention Crop Rotation Resilience to climate risks Higher, more stable yields Increased profitability Reduced costs Water use efficient Improved soil quality Conservation agriculture (CA) for coping with water / labor scarcity and managing risk Catalyst for sustainable intensification
  • 14. Efficiency of rainwater utilization and crop yield in water-limited systems Conventional Conservation Agriculture
  • 15. Weed competition causes >1 t ha-1 yield loss for maize in the hills CIMMYT, NARC, and IAAS are developing Integrated weed management practices that are labor and cost efficient.
  • 16. Difficult terrain in the hills (PP P) Low mechanization levels Out-migration In partnership with NARC (Shreemat Shrestha) and private partners in Nepal (BLT Traders) and India (National Agro- Industries). Advances and commercialization of scale-appropriate mechanization is urge
  • 17. Terai maize: irrigation, hybrids, and highe rates of fertilizer use are common practice …but internal demand for feed from commercial maize system is double current production with import costs of approximate 200 million NPR. A missed opportunity for Nepali farmers? Why isn’t maize production higher in the Terai? • High production costs • Risk of cold damage (winter crop) • Insufficient knowledge of better-bet management pract
  • 18. CA = Near-term economic gains + long- term sustainability Increase yield and profitability of $100 - $250 ha-1 for wheat
  • 19. Cold Tolerance DoA’s ‘maize mission’ to promote hybrids in the Terai Initially raised yields significantly, but cold damage in 2010 severely reduced yields. A 200 million NPR settlement ensued. In partnership with NARC and IAAS, CIMMYT is evaluating both genetic and agro-climatic factors with field trials + simulation models in order to reduce risk of cold damage and crop failure in winter maize.
  • 20. Courtesy of Roland Buresh, IR 2. Compute field- specific guideline Model hosted on the cloud 1. Acquire field-specific information from farmers Web Smartphon e 3. Provide customized field-specific guidelines in local language Multi- format output Site-specific management that is appropriate for smallholders
  • 21. Fostering small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) offer strong possibilities for achieving impact at scale by overcoming bottlenecks such as the cost of machinery, logistics of training individual farmers (i.e. one service provider reaches many farmers), etc. • technical training, • examples of viable business models for new entrepreneurs • market and marketing advise Beyond Technologies: Encouraging entrepreneurship
  • 22. Change pathways: coordinated interventions integrating technology, policies, outreach, etc.