Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Crop systems

28 January 2014

A series of studies aiming at assessing and improving agricultural economic models have been published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and in a Special Issue of the journal Agricultural Economics. These represent the findings of a major international program “The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement project” (AgMIP) – an effort to produce improved integrated crop, climate and economic models. The AgMIP project links climate, crop, and economic modelling communities with cutting-edge information technology and aggregate crop model outputs as inputs to regional and global economic models. In doing so it is possible to determine regional vulnerabilities, changes in comparative advantage, price effects, and potential adaptation strategies in the agricultural sector.

20 January 2014

This paper investigates whether current yield trajectories are adequate to achieve the production increases that many forecasts suggest are needed on existing farmland. The results indicate that the majority of global cereal crops such as rice, wheat and corn may have reached their maximum possible yields. Six statistical models were analysed to identifying the most appropriate shape of historical yield trend and the analysis makes it possible to estimate in which countries and regions yields are flat, rising, declining or plateauing.

19 December 2013

This interesting paper calculates the a. nitrogen footprint and b. nitrogen investment factor associated with the average production of 12 agricultural commodities in the EU – 6 plant and 6 livestock products (excluding fish and aquatic products).  The nitrogen footprint is defined as the total N losses to the atmosphere resulting from the production of a defined unit of food, while the N investment factor calculates the amount of N input needed to produce a specified amount of N in the food.   Since N is the building block of protein, the latter is a useful way of looking at the issue, particularly when it comes to considering the relative merits of plant (eg. pulses and legumes) versus animal sources of protein.

12 December 2013

The focus of this book is to introduce a non-specialist audience to the role of precision agriculture (PA) in food security, environmental protection, and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as its economic benefits.

12 December 2013

This report by Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative SIANI, deals with potential ways of feeding the projected world population of 9.6 billion in 2050 by sustainably closing yield gaps.

5 December 2013

New research by the United Nations Environment programme UNEP, United Nations Development programme UNDP, World Resources Institute WRI and the World Bank presents solutions to meet the world's growing food needs, while advancing economic development and environmental sustainability.

21 November 2013

This IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) policy note summarises the results of a study that compares the effects that different technologies have on crop yields and resource use, in particular arable land, water and nutrient inputs. It models technology-induced changes in crop yields and considers how the mix of technology uptake can influence the global food market through changes in food prices and trade flows, as well as calorie availability, in particular for developing countries.

6 November 2013

This paper contributes to the ongoing  discussion on sustainable intensification in agriculture, focusing on the question of whether further yield increases are still possible. The researchers looked at trends in productivity increases achieved through the introduction of new varieties in the Netherlands between 1980 and 2010. A statistical technique allowed them to separate the influence of weather, CO2 levels and crop management from the effect of the new varieties themselves.

21 October 2013

Aquaculture is an issue that rarely attracts the attention it deserves.  These short filmed interviews made by the  International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI feature researchers and practitioners in livestock and fish ‘value chains’ in Uganda who came together during a conference on AgriFood Chain Toolkit Conference-Livestock and Fish Value Chains in East Africa, in September Sep 2013.

Pages