The Land that Feeds Us: Growing Land Scarcity and the Borlaug Hypothesis Revisited

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Presentation delivered by Dr. Derek Byerlee (Independent Researcher and Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, USA) at Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security. March 25 - 28, 2014, Ciudad Obregon, Mexico.
http://www.borlaug100.org

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The Land that Feeds Us: Growing Land Scarcity and the Borlaug Hypothesis Revisited

  1. 1. Derek Byerlee, James Stevenson (ISPC) & Nelson Villoria (Purdue U) The Land that Feeds Us: Growing Land Scarcity and the Borlaug Hypothesis Revisited Borlaug 100 Ciudad Obregon March 25-28th, 2014
  2. 2. 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 1961 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006 Index(1960=100) Indices (1961 = 100) Arable land per capita 2 Crop production per capita Food prices 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 1961 1964 1967 1970 1973 1976 1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 1997 2000 2003 2006 2009 2012 World cereal yields (t/ha) more than doubled Source: Calculated from FAOSTAT Saved > 1 bill ha land Borlaug, Science, 2007
  3. 3. WIKIPEDIA, 2014 ANGELSEN AND KAIMOWITZ, 2001  “Borlaug continually advocated increasing crop yields as a means to curb deforestation.The large role he played in both increasing crop yields and promoting this view has led to this methodology being called .. the "Borlaug hypothesis”…..  This section needs additional citations for verification.Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources (June 2011) Agricultural Technologies and Tropical Deforestation Authors offer another view— Increasing yields on the forest frontier raises returns to land and therefore incentives to expand area (Jevon’s Paradox)
  4. 4. -1.00 0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00 OECD Transitional China South Asia SE Asia Brazil sub-Saharan Africa Growth%/yr) Decomposition of Agricultural Growth, 1961-2009 TFP Inputs Irrigation Land Yield Area Source: Fuglie, Pers comm
  5. 5. BURNEY ET AL. (2010) PHELPS ET AL (2013)  Increased global yields since 1961 have saved 1.5 x 109 ha crop area.  One third of saved land due to cumulative investment of $800 billion in R&D  Investigates effects of improved maize and cassava techs on forests in DR Congo  Conclusion: “The relationship between intensification and land sparing for conservation in tropical developing countries is dubious….intensification may actually spur agricultural expansion”
  6. 6. Crops 12% Pastures 26% Forest 31% Other 31% Global Land Use (Cropland 1.5 bill ha)  Since 1850 converted to agriculture (Geist, 2001) • 600 M ha forest • 470 M ha savannah  But since 1990, only 30 M ha increase cropland (2%)  2014—Push for SDG of zero deforestation by 2030
  7. 7. 0 20 40 Sugararcane Oil Palm Rice Maize Soybean M ha per year By crop, 1990-2007 FAO: Cropland in tropical countries expanded 100 M ha 1990-2010 • Largely in L. America, SE Asia and SS Africa  Satellite: 1980-2000, tropical agriculture expanded 75 M ha, with 75% of that from forests (Gibbs et al., 2010)
  8. 8. Low estimate High estimate M ha M ha Additional land for: Crops other than biofuels 81 147 Biofuels 44 118 Plantation forestry 56 109 Grazing 0 151 Total 181 374 Land lost to: Cities and infrastructure 48 100 Degradation 30 87 Protected areas 26 80 Total (gross) 207 454 Source: Lambin et al, 2011. PNAS
  9. 9. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 SS Africa Latin America E. Europe & CA E and S Asia MENA Australia Rest of world Millionha Potential additional area Current area 2005 Brazil, Argen Sudan, Congo, , Mozam Madag, Zambia Russia Australia Based on land that is not forested or protected and pop dens < 25/km Total of 450 M ha (≈ demand (high)) (Wheat 75 Mha) Source: Deininger and Byerlee (2011) based on IIASA-GAEZ
  10. 10. WIKI-ESTIMATES, 2000-13 SS AFRICA—18 M HA 2005-11 Food 25% Biofuels 43% Integrate d food/fuel 20% Wood & fibre 10% Other 2% Source: Schoneveld, 2014 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 Other Total: 955 agric projects, 35 M ha (excludes high income countries) Source: Landmatrix.org
  11. 11. EXPONENTIAL EXPANSION RIAU, INDONESIA, 1982-2007  Area doubled every decade from 1970  Investment of $50+ billion since 2001  Often high social and environmental costs • Much of it on previously forested land in SE Asia
  12. 12. Intens. on the frontier Increased profits Higher returns to land Intens. away from frontier Increase demand for labor Migration frontier to intensifyi ng area Broad- based intens. Reduced output prices Decrease returns to land Pathways from intensification to land use Pressure to expand land area Trade
  13. 13.  18 global AEZs based on spatially-explicit datasets on yield and land use: Counterfactual: A world without CGIAR crop germplasm improvement since 1965 Source: Stevenson, Byerlee, Villoria et al., PNAS, 2013
  14. 14. Cropland Pastures Forests Developing countries 1.52 − 0.66 − 0.66 Developed countries 0.87 − 0.36 − 0.51 • Overall estimate that agricultural area in 2004 would have increased by 18 – 27 M ha mostly in developing countries • •[Dwarfed by effects of lower food price on human welfare] Source: Stevenson, Byerlee, Villoria et al., PNAS, 2013
  15. 15. Scenario 1: Close yield gap in oil palm by 35% in SE Asia over 25 yrs Note; Does not include value of biodiversity Source: Villoria, Byerlee & Stevenson., 2013 SE Asia Land use and emissions SE Asia; Scenario 1 Global
  16. 16. Global R&D Investments (S2) Investments R&D In Africa and Latin Am. only (S3) Source: Lobell et al, 2013 Conclusion: Investing in R&D for broad adaptation to CC is a cost effective way to save forests and mitigate climate change. • Still projects 250 Mha area increase by 2030 with perfect adaptation. Scenarios S1.No adaptation S2. R&D to adapt (yields unaffected by CC) S3. Adaptation only in LA and Africa 95% confidence intervals
  17. 17.  New market opportunities through trade Oil palm in SE Asia Little technical change after 1980 • Soybean in Latin America  Markets + Technology 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Soybean imports (Mt) China World China World
  18. 18.  Sustainable intensification through higher input efficiency and improved NRM • Reduce agro-chemical externalities • See Fischer, Byerlee & Edmeades (2014), Chapter 8  Landscape approaches that preserve mosaics • Debate on land sparing (specialization) vs land sharing (bio- diverse mosaics)
  19. 19.  Broadly-based investment in crop R&D one of the best ways to save forests globally (as Borlaug claimed)  Net global saving in land from intensification often co-exists with forests losses at local level  Improved governance of forests critical to provide incentives to intensify vs expand area Regulation, incentives (private certification, REDD) Brazil vs Indonesia, 2005-2012  SDG of zero deforestation in 2030 requires accelerated efforts on yields plus governance
  20. 20. References Stevenson,Villoria, Byerlee, PNAS 110: 8363-68, 2013 Villoria, Golub, Byerlee & Stevenson, Am. J. Ag. Econ, 95:1308-13  Villoria, Byerlee & Stevenson, App. Econ. Pers & Policies (in press) Byerlee,Villoria and Stevenson, Global Food Security (in review) Additional information dbyerlee@gmail.com

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