Applying a systems framework to research on African farming systems

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Presented by John Lynam at the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems Regional Inception Workshop East and Southern Africa, Nairobi, 5-7 June 2012

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  • 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.
  • Applying a systems framework to research on African farming systems

    1. 1. Applying a systemsframework 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 IntensificationData 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 variablesstrategies INSTITUTIONAL MANAGEMENTENDOGENOUS EXOGENOUSLivelihood Implementation Institutions andCapitals 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 -IncomeWithin site variability: typologies
    9. 9. System Boundaries and Classification FrameworksHierarchical 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 SpeciationEast African Highland Banana SystemsUtilization Matoke: Uganda Beer bananas: Rwanda and Burundi Enset: EthiopiaCrop Management Commercial: southwest Uganda Soil fertility constrained: Bukoba
    11. 11. System Variation and System PerformanceSystem Performance -Productivity, profitability, income -Vulnerability, food security -Resource efficiency, resilienceSystem 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 16.0Kenya: Recycled Maize 16.1 16.0Uganda: HYV Maize 25.0 33.7Uganda: 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 EthiopiaPer 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 EvolutionStatic Equilibrium Subsistence Dominates Rural Population GrowthDiversification Both Income and <Shifting Farm Gate Subsistence Terms of Trade <Staple Food ProductivitySpecialization Income Dominates <Price Signals in Efficient Markets <Regional Competition and Comparative Advantage

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