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Keating - Sustainable intensification and the food security challenge


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Presentation delivered at the CIALCA international conference 'Challenges and Opportunities to the agricultural intensification of the humid highland systems of sub-Saharan Africa'. Kigali, Rwanda, October 24-27 2011.

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Keating - Sustainable intensification and the food security challenge

  1. 1. Brian Keating, Peter Carberry and John Dixon Presentation to CIALCA Conference Kigali, Rwanda - October 2011 Sustainable intensification and the food security challenge Looking east, Machakos Hills, Kenya, 1986
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>A global context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agricultural production and food security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intensification drivers and opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Agricultural intensification in an African context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looking back and looking forward </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research needs and opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Systems approaches and challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reflections </li></ul>
  3. 3. Issue 1 . Agricultural production and intensification in a wider food security context
  4. 4. Picture: AFP
  5. 5. Multiple dimensions of food security <ul><li>Physical quantity of food produced and its global distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Nutritional value of diet, food safety and human health consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Inequalities in access to food associated with poverty and social disadvantage </li></ul>Source: FAO:
  6. 6. The emerging 2010/11 food price peaks …
  7. 7. Global Hunger Index IFPRI et al (2011)
  8. 8. Global Hunger Index (trend 1990-2011)
  9. 9. Key Message1 . Food security is a global challenge that plays out at local scales. Agricultural production growth is a necessary but not sufficient global response. .
  10. 10. Issue 2. What does the future global food demand trajectory look like?
  11. 11. The food demand challenge – in perspective From Keating and Carberry (2010) Sustainable production, food security and supply chain implications. Aspects of Applied Biology , 102, 7-20.
  12. 12. Food demand scenarios 1960 to 2050
  13. 13. Lower relative production increase .... 71% 129%
  14. 14. 17 14 14 petacal/day increase (in 2010 above 1970) 17 petacal/day increase (in 2050 above 2010) But higher absolute production increases ....
  15. 15. ... and all this in the face of climate change
  16. 16. Key Message 2 . The global food production challenge in the 21 st Century is at least as great as that faced in the second half of the 20 th Century.
  17. 17. Issue 3. What pathways are available to fill anticipated food demand?
  18. 18. A “mega-wedge” of food demand ? 127 x 10 18 calories
  19. 19. Other “mega-wedges” of food demand ? Filling the Production Demand Avoiding losses of productive capacity
  20. 20. Other “mega-wedges” of food demand ? Filling the Production Demand Avoiding losses of productive capacity Reducing the Demand
  21. 21. Pathways to address the food security challenge ? <ul><li>Reducing the demand trajectory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce waste along the food value chain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing over-consumption in human diets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rebalancing livestock component of future diets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop “smart biofuel” policies and technologies </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Pathways to address the food security challenge ? <ul><li>Avoiding losses of productive capacity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining pest and disease resistance and biosecurity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding further soil and water degradation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Climate change mitigation without loss of food security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapting to unavoidable climate change </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Pathways to address the food security challenge ? <ul><li>Filling the production shortfall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Net expansion of the land footprint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Net expansion of the irrigation footprint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanding aqua-culture based production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing cropping intensity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Closing yield gaps (including raising eco-efficiency) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raising the yield ceiling through new technologies </li></ul></ul>Agricultural intensification
  24. 24. <ul><li>Key Message 3 . Action is needed on all three fronts: </li></ul><ul><li>reducing demand, </li></ul><ul><li>sustaining existing productivity, </li></ul><ul><li>filling the production gap. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Issue 4. What does looking back to the 20 th Century tell us about increasing production?
  26. 26. Between 1961 and 2008, food calories produced increased by 179% while population grew 117% Meat, Oilseeds, Fruit and Vegetables all increased relative to cereals. Tubers decreased Food production and population – looking back
  27. 27. Global agricultural production – looking back Net land under cultivation increased by 15% Yields increased 2-3 fold
  28. 28. Agricultural achievements 1960-2000 <ul><li>The “Green Revolution” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>> x 2 yields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>x 7 N fertiliser </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>x 3 P fertiliser </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>x 2 irrigation water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15% increase in arable land area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arable land per person dropped from 0.45ha to 0.25ha </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Around one quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions </li></ul></ul>Picture: Fusuo Zhang, CAU
  29. 29. The “Green Revolution” has not yet reached Africa Yield and area drivers of expanded cereal production contrasted for Asia and Africa over the 1961 to 2004 period. (World Bank, 2008) Asia Africa
  30. 30. Key Message 4 . Agricultural intensification has provided the primary pathway to global food security to date – except for sub-Saharan Africa.
  31. 31. Issue 5. Can agricultural intensification be sustainable?
  32. 32. Sustainability dimensions <ul><li>Sustaining productive capacity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining soil and water resources for direct productivity benefit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoiding off-site effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protecting the environment from negative impacts (e.g., nutrients, GHGs) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maintaining biodiversity in situ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature conservation in agricultural landscapes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maintaining biodiversity through land sparing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced clearing of forests and grasslands through higher agricultural outputs on existing cultivated lands </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. A carbon constrained world ... GHGs loads on the atmosphere need to be reduced by 50-85% to limit global warming to under 2 o C in 2050 This implies a 3 to 6 fold reduction in GHG intensity for global agriculture in 2050, assuming agricultural output goes up 50% Land Clearing and Forestry 17% Agriculture 14%
  34. 34. N fertiliser use (in)efficiency - cereal production in China <ul><li>Over-fertilisation in the order of 30-60% </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 12 M tonnes excess N </li></ul><ul><li>Enough to supply approx 60 kgN/ha p.a. for all current arable land in sub-Saharan Africa </li></ul>Adapted from Ju et al., 2009 Year Grain Prodn. N fertiliser PFP N   M tonnes M tonnes kg/kg 1977 283 7.07 40.0 2005 484 26.21 18.5 % change 71% 271% -54%
  35. 35. N fertiliser use efficiency – USA cereal production <ul><li>A success story </li></ul><ul><li>PFP N rising from 42 to 57 kg/kg over 20 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>Achieved via </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuing yield increase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flat N fertiliser inputs </li></ul></ul>From Cassman et al., 2002
  36. 36. Key Message 5. Intensification to date has not always been sustainable – with complex agriculture-environment interactions across scales. Future growth in agricultural output has to be achieved with enhanced “eco-efficiency”.
  37. 37. Issue 6 . The case for sustainable intensification in sub Saharan Africa (SSA)
  38. 38. Agricultural output in Africa is growing – but at half the pace of Asia and South America Changes in net agricultural production (1961–2007) Pretty et al (2010) Africa Asia Sth America Food Production (1961=100)
  39. 39. Per capita agricultural production has not increased in Africa since 1960 Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures Synthesis Report C9: Sustainable intensification in African agriculture – analysis of cases and common lessons Africa World South America Asia Africa Per Capita Food Production (1961=100)
  40. 40. Agricultural output is growing in Africa, but .... Africa: changes in net agricultural production (1961–2007) Pretty et al 2010 North and West Africa East Africa Sth. and Cent. Africa Food Production (1961=100)
  41. 41. 20-40% declines in per capita food production in east, central and southern Africa Changes in per capita net agricultural production (1961–2007) Pretty et al (2010) East, Sth. and Central Africa Per Capita Food Production (1961=100)
  42. 42. Population is projected to double in sub Saharan Africa by 2050 UN Population Division. 2006 Revision. World Population Prospects . Sub Saharan Africa
  43. 43. (FAOSTAT and NARO, 2006/07) Yield Gap expressed as fraction of potential yield not being achieved Large yield gaps exist in SSA Crop Yield (t/ha) Yield (t/ha) Yield gap (%) Maize 1.5 7 79 Millet 1.8 5 64 Beans 0.5 3 83 Sweet potato 4.5 30 85 Cassava 12.7 50 75 Bananas 4.6 35 87
  44. 44. Maize yield gaps generally in the 60-80% range in SSA Based on national yields compared to farm demonstration plots Based on national yields compared to modelled potential yields
  45. 45. Significant potential for agricultural expansion in Africa Source: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal ) FAOSTAT, FAO Terrastat land_use_in_africa
  46. 46. Key Message 6 . Sub-Saharan Africa has both land expansion and intensification options. To achieve food security in 2050, some regions will need to double yields, others likely to also engage in land expansion.
  47. 47. Issue 7. What technical constraints are limiting crop productivity in sub Saharan Africa’s small farms ?
  48. 48. Sub Saharan Africa is home to a diverse range of farming systems
  49. 49. Soil fertility constrains in sub Saharan African smallholder farming systems <ul><li>Strong evidence that soil fertility constraints are widespread </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drives inefficiencies throughout the farming system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Water use efficiency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Returns to labour investment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Nitrogen constraints very common </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other nutrients limiting in many situations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often small areas of better fertility associated with animal or household areas. </li></ul></ul>Source: B Keating, CSIRO
  50. 50. Yield Reducing Factors Yield Reduction (kg/ha) Yield Reducing Factors: Mixed Maize Systems Africa Low Soil Fertility Low Soil Nitrogen Based on expert elicitation process, Dixon et al (pers comm.)
  51. 52. On-farm performance of seeds and fertilisers (micro-dosing) (Twomlow and Rohrbach  2006). 5% 50% 20% 80% Farmer practice
  52. 53. Key Message 7 . Improved soil fertility and nutrient supply are fundamental to any effort to intensify agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa
  53. 54. Issue 8 . Farming systems are complex and variable in space and time. Do we have the necessary tools and approaches?
  54. 55. A crowded history of research for development approaches 1980’s 1990’s 2000’s 1960’s 1970’s On Station Research Extension based technology transfer NIE FSR OFR RRA PRA PAR PTD FTR FFS PPB AKIS PI&D IRD BB’s MBTs SRLs FARMSCAPE INRM IGNRM IAR4D IS IP ERI CASE PLAR RDs CCNR AR ARD FS
  55. 56. What trends can we observe ? <ul><li>Moving from descriptive to analytical approaches including the use of systems analysis and modelling tools </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing participation from a broader range of actors </li></ul><ul><li>Emergence of a value chain focus to complement an on-farm focus </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing recognition of the significance of enabling institutions and governance </li></ul><ul><li>Contested paradigms; hard systems vs soft systems; positivism vs constructivism; researcher knowledge / farmer knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Greater recognition of social equity and gender issues </li></ul>
  56. 57. Different lenses through which intensification can be viewed Global and regional food supply Rural development and food security Livelihood opportunities, poverty reduction A farmer’s view of the farming system
  57. 58. <ul><li>Intensification not the only pathway out of poverty for smallholders </li></ul>From: Dixon et al 2001. Farming Systems and Poverty Maize Mixed System, Africa A “rural livelihoods” lens on agricultural intensification Intensification 20% Diversification 30% Exit 10% Off-Farm Income 20% Farm Size 20%
  58. 59. The integration challenge ..... No one research activity area is likely to be able to make much progress on its own in the light of the 21 st Century drivers and needs.
  59. 60. Key Message 8 . A systematic approach to diagnosis and prescription of productivity performance and constraints is needed. Continued need for enhanced tools, approaches and capabilities for farming systems and value chain analysis across scales.
  60. 61. Issue 9 . Why has the intensification of sub-Saharan African agriculture lagged so far behind the rest of the world ?
  61. 62. Key Message 9 . Likely that the technical constraints cannot be solved without broad-based institutional innovation . How to stimulate such institutional development is the key challenge. The people in this room have an important role to play.
  62. 63. Summary messages ......... <ul><li>Agricultural production and productivity growth are necessary but not sufficient for global food security. </li></ul><ul><li>Future food security strategies include (a) demand reduction, (b) filling the production shortfall and (c) avoiding losses of productive capacity. </li></ul><ul><li>Looking back, agricultural intensification has been the primary pathway for global food security but; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainability has been lacking in some situations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agricultural intensification has not yet taken hold in Africa </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Looking forward to 2050, a doubling of agricultural output from existing agricultural land in sub Saharan Africa is a worthy goal. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has to be based on sustainability principles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires a step change in enabling organisations, institutions and governance. </li></ul></ul>
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