Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Crop systems

11 September 2015

This article in Nature Climate Change argues that the global climate and agriculture research community needs to put increased emphasis on mixed crop-livestock farm systems and their interplay with climate adaptation and mitigation. Written by authors from CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the piece outlines mixed farming systems' value to national development, climate adaptation and resilience building, farmers’ livelihoods and the globe’s food demand.

20 May 2015

One of the main concerns about bioenergy is that its production potentially competes with land needed to produce food.  In this paper researchers discuss the potential of a bioenergy feedstock/vegetable double-cropping system, in which both biofuel and pumpkin are produced.  

19 April 2015

This paper argues that high-performance computing and genetic engineering that boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a growing world population by 2050. It points out that we now have unprecedented computational resources that allow us to model every stage of photosynthesis and we can thus determine where the bottlenecks are. Advances in genetic engineering enable us to augment or circumvent steps that impede efficiency.

19 April 2015

This study argues that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to generate greenhouse gas savings. It looks at three models used by U.S. and European agencies, and finds that all three estimate that some of the crops diverted from food to biofuels are not replaced by planting crops elsewhere. About 20 to 50 percent of the net calories diverted to make ethanol are not replaced through the planting of additional crops.

26 February 2015

A new paper produced by a global group of agrosystem modellers, argues that if no action is taken to adapt, the future global wheat harvest is likely to be reduced by 6 % per each degree Celsius of local temperature increase. This would correspond to 42 million tonnes of yield reduction worldwide, which equals a quarter of current global wheat trade.

26 November 2014

No-till farming is a core principle of conservation agriculture where the soil is left relatively undisturbed from harvest to planting. This paper argues that no-till farming appears to hold promise for boosting crop yields only in dry regions, not in cool, moist areas of the world such as Northern Europe.

23 October 2014

In this article, part of National Geographic’s’ The Future of Food series, Tim Folger talks about the potential of biotechnology in the next 'green revolution', and its implications for subsistence farmers worldwide. While acknowledging the anxieties against genetically modified crops, he argues that their value in combating common plant diseases is significant for preventing large-scale agricultural losses.

23 October 2014

Crop, food, and feed composition studies are considered an essential part of the safety assessment of new crop varieties, including those developed through biotechnology. Information obtained from such studies is used to assess similarities and differences in important nutrients and anti-nutrients. This database created by International Life Sciences Institute, was generated from crop composition data obtained from studies conducted over a number of years at multiple worldwide locations.

2 October 2014

The European Commission was due to publish a Communication on Sustainable Food in 2013 to “assess how best to limit waste throughout the food supply chain, and consider ways to lower the environmental impact of food production and consumption patterns”.  This long-awaited Communication has still not been published.

25 September 2014

This paper in the journal Food Security analyses the genetically modified (GM) seed industry. The paper states that since many scientists, policymakers and citizens are calling for sustainable intensification of global agriculture (providing high yields and incomes without adverse environmental impacts) it is crucial to discuss the important role of the seed sector in such plans. The paper “Taking Stock of the Genetically Modified Seed Sector Worldwide: Market, Stakeholders, and Prices” assembles comprehensive data on the contemporary GM seed industry and its importance within the seed sector as a whole.

30 July 2014

The authors behind this study say that climate change has substantially increased the prospect that crop production will fail to keep up with rising demand in the next 20 years.