India is the latest addition to the Global Yield Gap Atlas that provides important information on the capacities of various countries to be self-sufficient in staple food crop production now and in the future. So far the Atlas has been populated for 24 countries for five major staple crops (maize, wheat, rice, sorghum and millet) and analyses for 25 additional countries is in progress.
“India is a very important addition to the Atlas as the projected grain demand in India is 377 tons by 2050, which is a 42% increase relative to 2015,” said Professor Martin van Ittersum from Wageningen University.
Dr Lieven Claessens, Regional Coordinator for the project in Africa and South Asia at ICRISAT, said, “We engaged in a successful collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to collect huge local data and complete the complex analyses for India. However, for now the spatial framework is solely based on biophysical conditions, and we know that adoption of improved technologies does not depend only on biophysical factors. So the next step is to add socioeconomic information like access to input and output markets, farm size, labor availability and off-farm income to better characterize farming systems.”
About the Atlas
Current rates of yield increase for major food crops is not enough to meet demand on existing farmland. Given limited land suitable for crop production and population soon to exceed 9 billion, ensuring food security while protecting carbon-rich and biodiverse rainforests, wetlands, and grasslands depends on achieving highest possible yields on existing farm land. To help agricultural researchers and policy makers prioritize their efforts to sustainably intensify agricultural systems, the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas (http://www.yieldgap.org/) is a valuable tool providing answers to important questions like:
- What is the food production potential for a region or country (on existing farm land)?
- Will it be possible for country/region to be self-sufficient in food production by 2030 or 2050 under different climate and socio-economic scenarios?
- What are the causes of yield gaps and how to overcome them? How can we better target options for sustainable intensification?
- What are the regions to target agricultural experimentation and what are potential technology extrapolation domains?
This global project was initiated in 2012 as an international research collaboration between the University of Nebraska, Wageningen University, ICRISAT and National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) partners in various countries in Africa, Latin America, North America, South Asia, East Asia, Middle East, Oceania and Europe.
The results for India were presented at a workshop on 11 December 2015 in New Delhi. Seehttp://www.yieldgap.org/india
Project: Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas
Investor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID.
Partners: University of Nebraska, Wageningen University, ICRISAT, ICAR, CIMMYT, Africa Rice and NARS in 24 countries.
CGIAR Research Program: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)