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Applying a systems framework to research on African farming systems

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Applying a systems framework to research on African farming systems

  1. 1. Applying a systems framework to research on African farming systems John Lynam CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems Regional Inception Workshop East and Southern Africa Nairobi, 5-7 June 2012
  2. 2. Expanding Global Agendas and Increasing Demands on Agricultural Research  Global food security under increasing land and water constraints  Provision of ecosystem services and eco-efficiency of farming systems  Adaptation and mitigation to climate change  Agroecological intensification of smallholder agriculture and poverty
  3. 3. Changing Research Methods and Technology Design  Production systems research  Integrating ecological science  Place-based research methods  Research consortia  Scaling up integrated into research design  Flexible institutional arrangements
  4. 4. Design Issues in Production System CGIAR Research Programs  Target Area Selection  Research Site Selection -Target area characterization -Research hypotheses -Methodology for research site selection -Baseline and monitoring of system change  Methods for Research on Farming Systems
  5. 5. Developing the Science of System Intensification Data and Analytics for:  Characterization and targeting  Extrapolation  Baseline and monitoring  Causal relationships -System change -Comparative frameworks
  6. 6. Design Characteristics for Analyzing African Farming Systems  Heterogeneity: system boundaries and classification strata -Spatial Characterization -Within site household stratification  System Change and Dynamics: drivers and intensification pathways  Embeddedness: landscape, market/sub-sector, agricultural sector
  7. 7. Livelihood Key variables strategies INSTITUTIONAL MANAGEMENT ENDOGENOUS EXOGENOUS Livelihood Implementation Institutions and Capitals programs policy network Spatial Scale
  8. 8. Structure of Farm/Household System  Asset base: five capitals  Production activities  Household objectives: -Subsistence/food security -Risk management -Income Within site variability: typologies
  9. 9. System Boundaries and Classification Frameworks Hierarchical Classification  Land use: Cultivated land within managed natural ecosystems  First order spatial classification -Agroecology: eg semi-arid, highlands -Crop-livestock interaction: eg pastoral  Staple food crop: spatially contiguous?  Sub-system speciation
  10. 10. System Speciation East African Highland Banana Systems Utilization  Matoke: Uganda  Beer bananas: Rwanda and Burundi  Enset: Ethiopia Crop Management  Commercial: southwest Uganda  Soil fertility constrained: Bukoba
  11. 11. System Variation and System Performance System Performance -Productivity, profitability, income -Vulnerability, food security -Resource efficiency, resilience System Variation -Spatial/causal comparative frameworks -Within-site socio-economic variation
  12. 12. Drivers of System Change  Rural population growth -Declining farm size -Increasing inequity in farm distribution -Pressure on common resources and natural capital  Improvements in Market Access -Transaction costs and input/output -Staple terms of trade  Changes in agroecology from climate change or biotic pandemics
  13. 13. Relative Prices and Marginal Returns to Nitrogen Application Marginal Return Relative Price (kg) Kenya: HYV Maize 19.9 16.0 Kenya: Recycled Maize 16.1 16.0 Uganda: HYV Maize 25.0 33.7 Uganda: Recycled Maize 25.2 33.7
  14. 14. Pathways of System Change  Intensification of existing production patterns: sustainable and unsustainable  Diversification of production  Expanded farm size or herd size: high vs low population densities  Increased off-farm income: expanding non-farm rural economy vs transfers  Exit from agriculture
  15. 15. East Africa: Average Farm Income, 2004-06 Kenya Uganda Ethiopia Per Capita Income 367 154 94 % Crop Income 36 64 53 % Livestock Income 24 13 34 % Non Farm Income 42 29 12
  16. 16. Kenya: Crop Diversification Indices by Zone
  17. 17. Markets as a Driver of Farming System Evolution Stage in Farming Farmer Objective Principal Driver System Evolution Static Equilibrium Subsistence Dominates Rural Population Growth Diversification Both Income and <Shifting Farm Gate Subsistence Terms of Trade <Staple Food Productivity Specialization Income Dominates <Price Signals in Efficient Markets <Regional Competition and Comparative Advantage

Editor's Notes

  • CIAT and IITA were conceived of as undertaking research on farming systems of the lowland, humid tropics.FSR moved downstream as a linkage mechanism to extension, creating adaptive research.Questions about the role of the researcher led to farmer participatory research.
  • Sustainability split research into two very different modalities rather than integrating.
  • Green Revolution was the first and maybe the last example of the impacts of widely scalable technologies.FSR was a response to the lack of adoption of GR technologies in rainfed agriculture, still with a commodity focus.The sustainability agenda added NRM and expansion of the CGIAR.Climate change (system resilience) and ecosystem services has added AEI.
  • How to assemble these outputs into a dissemination framework.

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