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However, it concluded that there was much opportunity to raise productivity from rainfed farming. The importance of rainfed agriculture varies regionally but produces most food for poor communities in developing countries. Most countries in the world depend primarily on rainfed agriculture for their grain food. Despite large strides made in improving productivity and environmental conditions in many developing countries, a great number of poor families in Africa and Asia still face poverty, hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition where rainfed agriculture is the main agricultural activity.
Of the 850 million undernourished people in the world, essentially all live in poor, developing countries, which predominantly are located in tropical regions. The remaining yield outputs originated from intensification through yield increases per unit land area. However, the regional variation is large, as is the difference between irrigated and rainfed agriculture. In developing countries rainfed grain yields are on average 1. Trends are clearly different for different regions. For predominantly rainfed systems, maize crops per unit of land have nearly tripled and wheat more than doubled during the same time period.
South Asia is similar to the average yield output of 2. In view of the historic regional difference in development of yields, there appears to exist a significant potential for raised yields in rainfed agriculture, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Rural development through sustainable management of land and water resources gives a plausible solution for alleviating rural poverty and improving the livelihoods of the rural poor. In an effective convergence mode for improving the rural livelihoods in the target districts, with watersheds as the operational units, a holistic integrated systems approach by drawing attention to the past experiences, existing opportunities and skills, and supported partnerships can enable change and improve the livelihoods of the rural poor. The well-being of the rural poor depends on fostering their fair and equitable access to productive resources. A significant conclusion is that there should be a balance between attending to needs and priorities of rural livelihoods and enhancing positive directions of change by building effective and sustainable partnerships. Based on the experience and performance of the existing integrated community watersheds in different socioeconomic environments, appropriate exit strategies, which include proper sequencing of interventions, building up of financial, technical and organizational capacity of local communities to internalize and sustain interventions, and the requirement for any minimal external technical and organizational support needs to be identified.
While absolute grain yield variations exist between different global locations as cited in this article, the potential for improved rain fed grain yields may be less than is suggested by a comparison between sub-Saharan and European locations for example, this applies particularly in areas where grain yield is primarily determined by the growing season rainfall. This formula, while not taking account of either the carryover benefits of stored rainfall in the soil profile resulting from out of season rainfall or the impact of temperature or soil fertility, still gives a more accurate picture of the degree to which actual grain yields are matching the region’s potential yields and is a better basis for comparison between very different regions such as Europe and the sub-Sahara. 200mm rainfall area has a variable yield factor of 12. Water for food, Water for life: A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. This page was last edited on 19 November 2017, at 23:03. Climate change shifts the distributions of a set of climatic variables, including temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, sunshine duration, and evaporation. This paper explores the importance of those additional climatic variables other than temperature and precipitation.
Using the county-level agricultural data from 1980 to 2010 in China, we find that those additional climatic variables, especially humidity and wind speed, are critical for crop growth. Therefore, omitting those variables is likely to bias the predicted impacts of climate change on crop yields. In particular, omitting humidity tends to overpredict the cost of climate change on crop yields, while ignoring wind speed is likely to underpredict the effect. Our preferred specification indicates that climate change is likely to decrease the yields of rice, wheat, and corn in China by 36.
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