Building a better future: Sustainable (and Resilient) intensification the key to food security
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Building a better future: Sustainable (and Resilient) intensification the key to food security

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Andrew Noble presents on how we need to change the way we do agriculture so that it builds resilience into our food systems. Sustainable governance and management of ecosystems, natural resources and ...

Andrew Noble presents on how we need to change the way we do agriculture so that it builds resilience into our food systems. Sustainable governance and management of ecosystems, natural resources and Earth system processes at large, provides the basis for practical solutions towards a sustainable resilient agriculture.

Find out more about what WLE is doing: wle.cgiar.org

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  • WLE brings the research experience and partners to think differently about global agricultural challenges:What if salinised lands could be turned back into production?What if waste and used water could have a second life for agriculture?What if famers in Africa could farm all year around?What if water could be stored after floods and used during droughts?WLE emphasizes the need to rethink agricultural development in the context of growing resource constraints and rising risks of abrupt changes and tipping points affecting water, land and ecosystems. An ecosystems approach allows the program to view agricultural development from a perspective that considers external drivers of change and a range of different management objectives.
  • Irrigation consumes more water than any other human activity, and thus the challenges of water sustainability and food security are closely linked. To evaluate how water resources are used for food production, we examined global patterns of water productivity—food produced (kcal) per unit of water (l) consumed. We document considerable variability in crop water productivity globally, not only across different climatic zones but also within climatic zones. The least water productive systems are disproportionate freshwater consumers. On precipitation-limited croplands, we found that ∼40% of water consumption goes to production of just 20% of food calories. Because in many cases crop water productivity is well below optimal levels, in many cases farmers have substantial opportunities to improve water productivity. To demonstrate the potential impact of management interventions, we calculated that raising crop water productivity in precipitation-limited regions to the 20th percentile of productivity would increase annual production on rainfed cropland by enough to provide food for an estimated 110 million people, and water consumption on irrigated cropland would be reduced enough to meet the annual domestic water demands of nearly 1.4 billion people.

Building a better future: Sustainable (and Resilient) intensification the key to food security Building a better future: Sustainable (and Resilient) intensification the key to food security Presentation Transcript

  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Building a better future: Sustainable (and Resilient) intensification the key to food security Andrew Noble May 2014
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Challenges to the global food system Population growth and demographic change Rising average incomes Resource competition and scarcity
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Challenges to the global food system Need to reduce GHG emissions Environmental change
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction We need to change the way we do Agriculture that builds Resilienceinto our food systems
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction How will we feed the Future? Addressing a ‘wicked problem’ will require behavioral changes by all of us.
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction We need a food revolution! We need to shift from productivity enhancement while reducing environmental impacts Sustainable governance and management of ecosystems, natural resources and Earth system processes at large, provides the basis for practical solutions towards a sustainable resilient agriculture.
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction CGIAR Research Program on Water Land and Ecosystem (WLE) Vision: A world in which agriculture thrives within vibrant ecosystems, where communities have higher incomes, improved food security and the ability to continuously improve their lives
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction How will we achieve this? Sustainably Increasing Land and Water Productivity; Regenerating Degraded Agricultural Ecosystems; Recovering and Reusing Resources in Urbanizing Ecosystems; Managing Resource Variability and Competing Uses; Strengthening Decision Analysis and Information Systems GenderandEquity EcosystemServicesand Resilience
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Big problems demand innovative solutions and thinking . . . What if salinized lands could be turned back into production? What if waste and used water could have a second life for agriculture? What if famers in Africa could farm all year around? What if water could be stored after floods and used during droughts?
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction We have the technologies that will contribute to sustainable agricultural intensification Projected impacts of alternative agricultural technologies on global harvested areas for maize, rice and wheat in 2050. (Ringler et al., 2014; IFPRI).
  • Recovering and reusing resources Urbanization offers opportunities in recovering nutrients and water at scale. Technical knowledge is available to safely utilize these valuable wastes – however there is a need to bring this to scale. Focus of Research: Development of viable business models that can be taken to scale through engagement with the private sector, public-private partnerships, and business schools. Faecal sludge Nutrients for agricultural production
  • Take Home Messages • There are no magic bullets or quick fixes to the challenges we face with respect to global food security. • It will require greater perseverance, significant human behavioral change, hard decisions and choices, and political will. • It will require everyone to change.
  • Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Thank You A month of Resilience on the Blog wle.cgiar.org wle.cgiar.org/blogs