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Rice agroforestry: How trees can accelerate agroecological transitions

CIFOR-ICRAF
CIFOR-ICRAF
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Presented by Fergus Sinclair, Rachmat Mulia, Himlal Baral, Jim Roshetko, and Rob Finlayson (CIFOR-ICRAF) at 6th International Rice Congress, Manila, Philippines, on 16-19 Oct 2023

Rice agroforestry: How trees can accelerate agroecological transitions

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Rice agroforestry
How trees can accelerate
agroecological transitions
Fergus Sinclair, Rachmat Mulia, Himlal Baral,
Jim Roshetko, and Rob Finlayson
CIFOR-ICRAF (Centre for International
Forest Research - World Agroforestry),
Outline
1. Food system transformation through agroecology is
gaining ground
2. Diversification promotes productivity and resilience
3. Legumes substitute for industrial N
4. Integrating trees in rice production systems can increase
productivity and income, substitute for industrial N and
adapt to climate change
5. There are diverse rice agroforestry practices that suit
different contexts
Countries with rice as a staple crop opt for
agroecological transformation of food systems.
H.E. Saruth Chan, under secretary in the Ministry of
Agriculture explaining co-ordination across ministries
to effect agroecological transformation in Cambodia
to the UN Committee on World Food Security CFS50,
Rome, October 2022.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Le
Minh Hoan, stated that transformation in food systems
must be associated with the advancement of
agroecology at the 4th Global Conference of the One
Planet Network's Sustainable Food System Programme
(SFS Programme) Hanoi, April 2023
Vietnam
Cambodia
Cornelia Hett, Zar Chi Aye, Christophe Gironde, Alice Beban, Jean-Christophe Castella, Rasso Bernhard &
Albrecht Ehrensperger (2023) Agroecological initiatives in the Mekong Region: a systematic literature review
and mapping reveals their implications for transitioning to sustainable food systems, Journal of Land Use
Science, 18:1, 334-355, DOI: 10.1080/1747423X.2023.2248980
He, X., Batáry, P., Zou, Y. et al. Agricultural
diversification promotes sustainable and
resilient global rice production. Nature Food 4,
788–796 (2023).
https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-023-00836-4
Global analysis shows diversification of rice production
confers economic and environmental benefits
Agricultural diversification can increase
biodiversity by 40%, improve
economy by 26% and reduce crop damage
by 31%. Trade-off analysis showed
that agricultural diversification in rice
production promotes win–win
scenarios between yield and other
ecosystem services in 81% of all cases
Freed S, et al., 2020. Maintaining diversity of integrated rice and fish production
confers adaptability of food systems to global change. Frontiers in Sustainable Food
Systems 4(2020).
Lots of rich examples at different scales (from field to
food system) showing value of integrated systems
Diversified rice production systems had much higher
annual net income because of lower production costs for
agrochemicals and high yields of rice and fish. Low use of
pesticides and fertilizers create less impacts on the
environment, allows for higher biodiversity, stimulating a
more efficient circulation of nutrients and natural control
mechanisms of rice pests. Socially less pesticides, a
diversified production of crops and increased income
improved farmers’ health and wellbeing.
Berg et al., 2023. An ecological economic comparison between
integrated rice-fish farming and rice monocultures with low and high
dikes in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Ambio
https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-023-01864-x
https://www.worldagroforestry.org/blog/2020/11/16/agroecology-whets-global-appetite-rice-and-fish
Crop diversification
with legumes
substitutes for
nitrogen fertiliser on
monocultures
Metanalysis of 30
long-term trials (each
with at least 9 years
data) (>25,000 data
points).
MacLaren, C et al., 2022. Long-term evidence for ecological intensification as a pathway to sustainable
agriculture. Nature Sustainability. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-022-00911-x
Diversity and productivity go hand in hand for a
range of crops across Africa and Europe
Ad

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Rice agroforestry: How trees can accelerate agroecological transitions

  • 1. Rice agroforestry How trees can accelerate agroecological transitions Fergus Sinclair, Rachmat Mulia, Himlal Baral, Jim Roshetko, and Rob Finlayson CIFOR-ICRAF (Centre for International Forest Research - World Agroforestry),
  • 2. Outline 1. Food system transformation through agroecology is gaining ground 2. Diversification promotes productivity and resilience 3. Legumes substitute for industrial N 4. Integrating trees in rice production systems can increase productivity and income, substitute for industrial N and adapt to climate change 5. There are diverse rice agroforestry practices that suit different contexts
  • 3. Countries with rice as a staple crop opt for agroecological transformation of food systems. H.E. Saruth Chan, under secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture explaining co-ordination across ministries to effect agroecological transformation in Cambodia to the UN Committee on World Food Security CFS50, Rome, October 2022. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Le Minh Hoan, stated that transformation in food systems must be associated with the advancement of agroecology at the 4th Global Conference of the One Planet Network's Sustainable Food System Programme (SFS Programme) Hanoi, April 2023 Vietnam Cambodia Cornelia Hett, Zar Chi Aye, Christophe Gironde, Alice Beban, Jean-Christophe Castella, Rasso Bernhard & Albrecht Ehrensperger (2023) Agroecological initiatives in the Mekong Region: a systematic literature review and mapping reveals their implications for transitioning to sustainable food systems, Journal of Land Use Science, 18:1, 334-355, DOI: 10.1080/1747423X.2023.2248980
  • 4. He, X., Batáry, P., Zou, Y. et al. Agricultural diversification promotes sustainable and resilient global rice production. Nature Food 4, 788–796 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-023-00836-4 Global analysis shows diversification of rice production confers economic and environmental benefits Agricultural diversification can increase biodiversity by 40%, improve economy by 26% and reduce crop damage by 31%. Trade-off analysis showed that agricultural diversification in rice production promotes win–win scenarios between yield and other ecosystem services in 81% of all cases
  • 5. Freed S, et al., 2020. Maintaining diversity of integrated rice and fish production confers adaptability of food systems to global change. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 4(2020). Lots of rich examples at different scales (from field to food system) showing value of integrated systems Diversified rice production systems had much higher annual net income because of lower production costs for agrochemicals and high yields of rice and fish. Low use of pesticides and fertilizers create less impacts on the environment, allows for higher biodiversity, stimulating a more efficient circulation of nutrients and natural control mechanisms of rice pests. Socially less pesticides, a diversified production of crops and increased income improved farmers’ health and wellbeing. Berg et al., 2023. An ecological economic comparison between integrated rice-fish farming and rice monocultures with low and high dikes in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Ambio https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-023-01864-x https://www.worldagroforestry.org/blog/2020/11/16/agroecology-whets-global-appetite-rice-and-fish
  • 6. Crop diversification with legumes substitutes for nitrogen fertiliser on monocultures Metanalysis of 30 long-term trials (each with at least 9 years data) (>25,000 data points). MacLaren, C et al., 2022. Long-term evidence for ecological intensification as a pathway to sustainable agriculture. Nature Sustainability. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-022-00911-x Diversity and productivity go hand in hand for a range of crops across Africa and Europe
  • 7. Zhao, J., Chen, J., Beillouin, D. et al. Global systematic review with meta-analysis reveals yield advantage of legume-based rotations and its drivers. Nature Communications 13, 4926 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-32464-0 Global metanalysis shows that legumes can maintain staple crop yields by substituting for industrial N Global metanalysis of 11,768 yield observations from 462 field experiments comparing legume-based and non-legume cropping systems show that legumes enhanced main crop yield by 20% but the effect declined with N fertilizer application (showing a substitution effect)
  • 8. Rodenburg, J., Mollee, E., Coe, R. and Sinclair, F (2022). Global analysis of yield benefits and risks from integrating trees with rice and implications for agroforestry research in Africa. Field Crops Research 281: 108504. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2022.108504 Global analysis of impacts of integrating trees with rice production https://glfx.globallandscapesforum.org/topics/21467/news/695616
  • 9. From traditional ‘sonor’ farming system to climate smart agro-silvo-fishery. South Sumatra https://www.worldagroforestry.org/blog/2022/07/18/more-rice-and-no-fire-degraded-peatland-indonesia Burning Sowing Harvest Growing Quick and easy: BUT wide range of environmental, social, economic, and political impacts No burning: growing rice with various timber, fruit and fish species [MORE FOOD, BIOMASS, NO FIRE] Cahya M, Suwignyo RA, Sodikin E, Baral H. 2022. Increasing rice productivity in degraded peatlands using improved planting methods and rice varieties. BIOVALENTIA: Biological Research Journal 8(1):69–82.
  • 10. Wangpakapattanawong P, Finlayson R, Öborn I, Roshetko JM, Sinclair F, Shono K, Borelli S, Hillbrand A, Conigliaro M. 2017. Agroforestry in rice-production landscapes in Southeast Asia: a practical manual. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand Rice agroforestry in practice According to Rodenburg et al. (2022): • Based on a review of 87 publications, 204 woody perennial species were used in various rice agroforestry practices worldwide. • 6 types of rice agroforestry practices: (1) hedgerow alley- cropping, (2) short-term (0.5–4 years) improved fallows, (3) pre- rice green manuring, (4) biomass transfer, (5) systematically arranged rice–tree intercropping and (6) irregularly dispersed trees in fields. • Main benefits of integrating trees with rice: (1) fertiliser is provided through biological nitrogen fixation or organic inputs, (2) pests, diseases and weeds are controlled through vegetation structure, rotation, mulching or the use of biopesticides, (3) higher resilience to climate threats (e.g., heat, strong wind). https://worldagroforestry.org/blog/2017/04/26/helping-rice-farmers-grow-trees-adapting-climate-change
  • 11. Conclusion Agroecological transformation of food systems is gaining ground internationally and works for rice production systems There is now mounting evidence that diversification can maintain or increase productivity while increasing resilience and reducing negative environmental impact Trees are large long-lived components of agricultural systems and so can accelerate agroecological transitions because their functional complementarity enhances opportunities to manage interactions to achieve synergy, and they often produce high value products