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Farming and the geography of nutrient production for human use: a transdisciplinary analysis


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Presentation of a journal paper led by Prof Mario Herrero, Dr. Philip Thornton of CCAFS, and several co-authors in The Lancet Planetary Health that examines the interactions between farm size, crops, and nutrient production for human use.

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Farming and the geography of nutrient production for human use: a transdisciplinary analysis

  1. 1. Farming and the geography of nutrient production for human use: a transdisciplinary analysis Prof Mario Herrero, PhD, Philip K Thornton, PhD, Brendan Power, MSc, Jessica R Bogard, PhD, Roseline Remans, PhD, Steffen Fritz, PhD, James S Gerber, PhD, Prof Gerald Nelson, PhD, Linda See, PhD, Katharina Waha, PhD, Prof Reg A Watson, PhD, Paul C West, PhD, Leah H Samberg, PhD, Jeannette van de Steeg, PhD, Eloise Stephenson, MSc, Mark van Wijk, PhD, Petr Havlík, PhD The Lancet Planetary Health Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages e33-e42 (April 2017) DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(17)30007-4
  2. 2. Motivation 1. Shifts in the global research agenda on food security – beyond production 2. Funders are asking for information on the importance of smallholders in food production and nutrition – competing visions of the future? 3. The need to incorporate structure of production in global integrated assessments (big farms vs small farms, diversity, …) 4. Promoting better linkages between agriculture, nutrition and health 5. Attaining the SDGs on poverty, food & nutrition security, and others
  3. 3. W. Africa 1966 – pastoral system 2004 – crop-livestock system What role for smallholders in the future? Systems and livelihoods in transition: the target is moving Herrero et al 2009
  4. 4. Projections of global food demand to 2050 4 Alexandratos and Bruinsma 2012 Projected consumption per capita: Cereals stable, meats and oils increasing
  5. 5. Nutritional diversity matters Castelon et al 2013
  6. 6. Using nutrition as a driver for shaping the supply response in agriculture Nutritional security? Resource use and emissions? Agro-ecosystems health? Value chains and zoonosis? Risk management? Income and employment? Maize field in Kansas Smallholder mixed farming
  7. 7. Study inputs: global map of field size Fritz et al. 2015
  8. 8. Study inputs Comparison of farm size distribution in Burkina Faso Lowder et al. (2014) data from 1993; recent LSMS data (van Wijk et al, 2016)
  9. 9. Study inputs • Crop production data for 41 crops, 2005 (Ray et al. 2012; Monfreda et al. 2008) • Global livestock production 2005 (eight system types, large & small ruminants, monogastrics; Herrero et al. 2013) • Fish production data, farmed and wild (FAO 2016; Watson et al. 2016) • Nutrient composition and nutrient requirements (USDA online databases)
  10. 10. 11 | Small and medium farms produce between 50-75% of the world’s food
  11. 11. 12 | A similar pattern emerges for nutrient production
  12. 12. 13 | More diverse landscapes produce more food
  13. 13. 14 | v. small small medium large As farm sizes increase, agricultural diversity decreases Shannondiversity(H)index
  14. 14. 15 | More diverse landscapes produce more nutrients, regardless of farm size
  15. 15. Uses and some research issues 1. Uses: Global burden of disease, Global Nutrition Report, Lancet EAT Commission 2. How can we promote sustainable intensification without losing diversity? 3. How may climate change affect nutrient production? 4. Policy influence on the structure of farming - e.g. smallholders, livelihoods, national policy objectives 5. Is agricultural diversity linked to biological diversity, resilience, climate adaptation/mitigation, health outcomes?
  16. 16. Food Matters website ESRI Story Maps