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Peter Craufurd of ICRISAT – India presented the outcomes of the inception phase of the dryland systems program in South Asia at the Launch in Amman in May of 2013. He noted that in the inception phase key partners were identified, an analysis of macro-level data was undertaken and a regional level workshop identified priority sites, observed changes in the systems, identified major drivers of change and future trajectories and generated research hypothesis and activities. Target research areas and action sites were identified in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan through site selection based on crop and livestock systems, soil delineation, irrigation systems, vulnerability to natural resource degradation, rapid change areas, and areas with poor livelihood indices. Partners including Bioversity, CIP, ICRAF, ILRI, and IWMI were also identified.
Key research areas were mapped using land use change and biomass assessment tools via remote sensing techniques. This information led to a cutting edge agro-biodiversity assessment with more studies planned in Rajastan, Bijapur and Anantapur in 2013.
In order to facilitate an understanding of household livelihood, technology adoption and vulnerability more than 15 villages representing different production systems were identified, baseline data from 1000 households was collected and data was analyzed to characterize communities and help target research.