Agricultural Development

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Agricultural Development: What Comes After 'Modern Agriculture'? : 

Agricultural Development: What Comes After 'Modern Agriculture'? College of Humanities & Development CAU, Beijing, March 6, 2009 Norman Uphoff , CIIFAD

‘Modern Agriculture’: 

‘Modern Agriculture’ Developed during 20 th century has been the most successful system of production in history. However, it is also the most stressful for natural resources – for soil, water and air Between 1961 and 2001, when the world’s population grew by 100% , our total food production was increased by 180% During this period, cereal production went up by 130% , averting major food shortfalls

Question: How advisable is it to continue along our present technological path?: 

Question: How advisable is it to continue along our present technological path ? -- doing essentially more of the same ? Or should we move in other directions ? ‘Modern agriculture’ as developed and practiced in latter third of 20th century culminated in ‘ Green Revolution ’ Should it be extended , even intensified ? -- are there other, better alternatives ? The Green Revolution is losing momentum; so consider agroecological alternatives

‘Modern Agriculture’: 

‘Modern Agriculture’ as developed during the 20th century began in the first half of the century with the industrialization of agriculture: Standardization of operations according to the best available scientific knowledge Mechanization of operations, making larger scale of production possible, linked with Labor-saving technologies that raised labor productivity and reduced the need for labor Use of chemical inputs to enhance soil fertility, achieve weed control & crop protection – agriculture as mechanical process

‘Modern Agriculture’: 

‘Modern Agriculture’ accelerated in the latter half of 20th century being increasingly shaped according to scientific formulations of agriculture: Genetic potentials were more emphasized; although there was a focus on breeding in the 1st phase, this became major thrust , along with Input-dependence -- as breeding enhanced the input-responsiveness of genotypes -- also Energy-intensity was greatly increased, and Capital-intensity became greater with the continuing substitution of capital for labor  leading to ever larger-scale operations

‘Modern Agriculture’: 

‘Modern Agriculture’ was widely expected to ‘ feed the world ’ – to avoid famine and promote development Fixation on yield took precedence over either efficiency or sustainability in resource use Total factor productivity was valued, but yield has been main yardstick of success, fixated on total production Low prices were desired for political and poverty-reduction reasons, but these are disincentives for producers

Basic features of ‘Modern Agriculture’ : 

Basic features of ‘Modern Agriculture’ MECHANIZATION – land-extensive strategy, monoculture, capital- and energy-intensive, plus labor-saving RELIANCE ON EXOGENOUS INPUTS input-intensive, agrochemical solutions GENETIC ENHANCEMENT – focus on genetic modification and biotechnology GLOBALIZATION – intl. division of labor, driven by market forces; large production units; capital becomes the dominant factor of production > land

‘Post-Modern Agriculture’ : 

‘Post-Modern Agriculture’ Responds to new and changing set of real-world conditions Will ‘re- biologize ’ agriculture, giving more emphasis to ecological perspectives and microbiological knowledge Will be more participatory , less expert-driven, with more concern for the environment

New 21st Century Realities:: 

New 21st Century Realities: Reduced per capita availability of land & water for agricultural sector Population continues to grow, esp. in LDCs Land degradation and urban expansion are diminishing our area of arable land Competing demands for water are growing from industries and domestic consumption Precipitation and surface flows of WATER are jeopardized by climate change – both amount and predictability of water are at risk Must improve land & water productivity !

New 21st Century Realities:: 

New 21st Century Realities: Energy costs are increasing , and are unlikely to return to 20th century levels Diminishing returns to inputs are more and more evident, e.g., N use in China Agrochemical ‘treadmill’ presents an uncertain future Environmental quality ↓ -- soil, water, air Yield stagnation with Green Revolution Millions of poor households are still currently by-passed by GR technology These not matters of opinion – REAL TRENDS

World Grain Production and Fertilizer Use, and Cumulative Increases by Decades : 

World Grain Production and Fertilizer Use, and Cumulative Increases by Decades Year Grain produc-tion ( mmt ) Increase in production by decade Fertili-zer use ( mmt ) Increase in fertilizer use by decade 1950 631 -- 14 -- 1961 805 +174 (28%) 31 +17 (121%) 1969-71 1,116 +311 (39%) 68 +37 (113%) 1979-81 1,442 +326 (29%) 116 +48 (70%) 1989-91 1,732 +290 (20%) 140 +24 (21%) 1999-01 1,885 +153 (9%) 138 -2 (-1.4%)

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Fortunately, there are new production opportunities that are breaking the rules of the ‘Green Revolution’ – example of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) SRI capitalizes upon what are referred to as GxE interactions ( genetic potential x environment ) that result in phenotypes By changing management of plants, soil, water and nutrients , SRI methods give better phenotypes from any genotype Agroecological approach reduces chemical inputs, with no need to modify genes

PowerPoint Presentation: 

MADAGASCAR: SRI field, traditional variety, 2003

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Cambodian farmer in Takeo Province, with rice plant grown from single seed using SRI methods with traditional variety

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Nepali farmer in Morang District, with SRI plant from single seed

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Tribal farmer in Jharkhand state of India, with a ‘rainfed’ SRI plant with 65 tillers (110-day variety)

PowerPoint Presentation: 

SRI NON-SRI Punjabi farmer in India showing difference between rice plant phenotypes with SRI and non-SRI practices

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Vietnamese farmer in D ông Trù village, Hanoi Province, holding up SRI & regular rice plants in front of their fields – after typhoon has passed

PowerPoint Presentation: 

47.9% 34.7% “Non-Flooding Rice Farming Technology in Irrigated Paddy Field” Dr. Tao Longxing, China National Rice Research Institute, 2004

How are these changes achieved?: 

How are these changes achieved? By different management practices for: Plants – transplant very young seedlings 8-15 days old; singly -- 1 per hill, not more; quickly, gently, shallow; and widely spaced in square pattern , 25x25 cm apart or wider Water – no continuous flooding of fields -- apply minimum or alternate wetting/drying Soil – good leveling for water distribution; plus both passive and active soil aeration – use rotary hoe to control weeds, aerate soil Nutrients – application of as much compost as possible, any biomass or organic matter

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Conoweeder used in Sri Lanka

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Rotary-hoe weeding of SRI rice paddies in Madagascar

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Careful transplanting of single, young seedlings, widely spaced SRI CAN BE MECHANIZED: Costa Rican SRI with mechanized transplanting and harvesting -- 8 t/ha yield in first season

SRI practices usually result in:: 

SRI practices usually result in: Higher yields by 50-100%, or more Water reductions of 25-50% No need for capital expenditure No reliance on agrochemical inputs Pest and disease resistance Drought and lodging tolerance Better grain quality Lower costs of production by10-20%

PowerPoint Presentation: 

I ndonesian farmer in Lombok Province comparing rice plants

Evaluation of SRI in Indonesia:: 

Evaluation of SRI in Indonesia: Supervised by Nippon Koei TA team, over 9 seasons and across 3 provinces Monitoring of on-farm comparison trials (N=12,133) on total of 9,429.1 ha Average SRI yield = 7.61 t/ha vs. 4.27 t/ha (3.34 tons = 78% > farmer methods) Water saving = 40% Fertilizer applications reduced by 50% Costs of production reduced by 20% Net income: 6.2 m vs. 1.2 m Rupiahs/ha

What requirements/constraints?: 

What requirements/constraints ? Water control – need for best results; may not be possible in some places; improve with investment & organization More labor during the learning phase; but SRI can even become labor-saving Farmer skill and motivation – expect experimentation and adaptation; improve human capital; need extension system, but can spread farmer-to-farmer Biomass supply – but can use fertilizer Crop protection – may be necessary

Alternative PARADIGMS of Production : 

Alternative PARADIGMS of Production ‘GREEN REVOLUTION’ was based on: (a) Changing the genetic potential of plants, and (b) Increasing the use of external inputs -- more water, fertilizer, insecticides, etc. AGROECOLOGY (SRI) changes the way that plants, soil, water and nutrients are managed: (a) Promoting the growth of root systems and (b) Enhancing the abundance and diversity of soil organisms to better enlist their benefits These changes give better PHENOTYPES – also with other crops in addition to rice

PowerPoint Presentation: 

SWI wheat crop in Poland before going into winter dormancy

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Finger millet in India: on right: local variety and traditional mgmt; center: improved variety with same mgmt; on left: improved variety with SRI mgmt

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Reported yields of 125-235 t/ha compared with usual 65 t/ha SRI concepts and methods adapted to sugar cane (left) in Andhra Pradesh, India

Extensions of SRI to Other Crops: Uttarakhand / Himachal Pradesh, India : 

Extensions of SRI to Other Crops: Uttarakhand / Himachal Pradesh, India Crop No. of Farmers Area (ha) Grain Yield (t/ha) % Incr. 2006 Conv. SRI Rajma 5 0.4 1.4 2.0 43 Manduwa 5 0.4 1.8 2.4 33 Wheat Resear-ch Farm 5.0 1.6 2.2 38 2007 Rajma 113 2.26 1.8 3.0 67 Manduwa 43 0.8 1.5 2.4 60 Wheat ( Irrig .) 25 0.23 2.2 4.3 95 Wheat ( Unirrig .) 25 0.09 1.6 2.6 63 Rajma (kidney beans) Manduwa (millet)

Agroecological ‘secret’ can be found in the roots and in soil organisms: 

Agroecological ‘secret’ can be found in the roots and in soil organisms Rice roots that are continuously flooded (growing in anaerobic soil conditions) are 78% degenerated by flowering phase (start of reproduction) ( Kar et al., 1974) Also, roots of flooded rice remain mostly in top 10-20 cm ( Kronzucker et al., 1997) Roots growing in unflooded , aerobic soil grow larger, deeper and retain their healthy white coloration – black or brown color is indicative of necrosis (dying back)

PowerPoint Presentation: 

IRAN: SRI roots and normal (flooded) roots: note difference in color as well as size

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Cuba – Two plants of the same age (52 DAP) and same variety (VN 2084)

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Regression relationship between N uptake and grain yield for SRI and conventional methods (Barison, 2003) – same relation for P and K

Soil biota are not visible like roots: 

Soil biota are not visible like roots But they provide many valuable services : Improved soil structure/function – worms, etc. Nitrogen fixation and phosphorus solubilization various kinds of bacteria (Turner/ Haygarth , 2001) Nutrient cycling , especially N – microbes, protozoa and nematodes ( Bonkowski , 2004) Acquisition of water and P – mycorrhizal fungi Phytohormone production – bacterial, fungi Induced systemic resistance – many microbes

‘Ascending Migration of Endophytic Rhizobia, from Roots and Leaves, inside Rice Plants and Assessment of Benefits to Rice Growth Physiology’: 

‘Ascending Migration of Endophytic Rhizobia , from Roots and Leaves, inside Rice Plants and Assessment of Benefits to Rice Growth Physiology’ Rhizob-ium test strain Total plant root volume/ pot (cm 3 ) Shoot dry weight/ pot (g) Net photo-synthetic rate (μmol -2 s -1 ) Water utilization efficiency Area (cm 2 ) of flag leaf Grain yield/ pot (g) Ac-ORS571 210 ± 36 A 63 ± 2 A 16.42 ± 1.39 A 3.62 ± 0.17 BC 17.64 ± 4.94 ABC 86 ± 5 A SM-1021 180 ± 26 A 67 ± 5 A 14.99 ± 1.64 B 4.02 ± 0.19 AB 20.03 ± 3.92 A 86 ± 4 A SM-1002 168 ± 8 AB 52 ± 4 BC 13.70 ± 0.73 B 4.15 ± 0.32 A 19.58 ± 4.47 AB 61 ± 4 B R1-2370 175 ± 23 A 61 ± 8 AB 13.85 ± 0.38 B 3.36 ± 0.41 C 18.98 ± 4.49 AB 64 ± 9 B Mh-93 193 ± 16 A 67 ± 4 A 13.86 ± 0.76 B 3.18 ± 0.25 CD 16.79 ± 3.43 BC 77 ± 5 A Control 130 ± 10 B 47 ± 6 C 10.23 ± 1.03 C 2.77 ± 0.69 D 15.24 ± 4.0 C 51 ± 4 C Feng Chi et al., Applied and Envir. Microbiology , 71 (2005), 7271-7278

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Economic Evaluation (US$/ha) Tamil Nadu Agric. Univ. (N=100) Conventional practices SRI practices Income from grain (Rs. 5.00 / kg) $ 659 $ 870 I ncome from straw (Rs. 0.25 / kg) $ 49 $ 63 Gross return $ 708 $ 933 - minus costs of cultivation - $ 466 - $ 414 Net return/ha $ 242 $ 519 Water saving -- 40-50%

Incidence of Diseases and Pests Average of trial data (8 provinces) from Vietnam National IPM Program, 2005-2006: 

Incidence of Diseases and Pests Average of trial data (8 provinces) from Vietnam National IPM Program, 2005-2006 Spring season Summer season SRI Plots Farmer Plots Differ-ence SRI Plots Farmer Plots Differ-ence Sheath blight 6.7% 18.1% 63.0% 5.2% 19.8% 73.7% Leaf blight -- -- -- 8.6% 36.3% 76.5% Small leaf folder* 63.4* 107.7* 41.1% 61.8* 122.3* 49.5% Brown plant hopper* 542* 1,440* 62.4% 545* 3,214* 83.0% AVERAGE 55.5% 70.7% * Insects/m 2

PowerPoint Presentation: 

Sri Lanka rice fields: same variety, same irrigation system, and same drought : standard methods (left), SRI (right)

Agroecological Strategy: : 

Agroecological Strategy: Smaller-scale intensive operations Achieve greater resource-efficiency Energy-saving and energy-efficiency Capitalize on synergies and symbioses Mobilize endogenous biological processes and potential in plants and soil Foster greater resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses as new strategy Seek to “ climate-proof ” our agriculture

Agroecological Alternatives : 

Agroecological Alternatives Make greater use of organic inputs to maintain soil fertility Don’t feed the plant -- feed the soil, and get the soil to feed the plant More emphasis on local production and consumption Reduce energy requirements Generate local purchasing power Support health of soil, plants, people


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