Theme 3 - Increased productivity and diversity in smallholder cropping systems for increased food security

Last changed: 10 January 2018
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This theme work for increased food security through sustainable increased productivity and diversity in smallholder cropping systems.

The productivity in smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa and in parts of Southeast Asia is often low. But there are considerable variation between regions and countries.

Climate and soil types can vary within small distances

Differences between potential yields and what is obtained in practice (often referred to as yield gap) can vary dramatically within small geographical distances and can be considerable even between households within the same village.

Biophysical factors such as micro climate and soil types often vary much within small geographical distances and can lead to large differences in productivity. But other factors such as cultivation techniques and access to markets have a great influence on the size of the yield gap.

The theme will focus on:

  1. Yield gap – causes and interventions for sustainable intensification
  2. Consequences of intensification, diversification and market introduction on the household living conditions and the sustainability of the production

The theme will analyse and build on earlier successes and failures e.g. through taking into account the heterogeneity described above and differences in limitations and ambitions between households. This will be achieved by synthesis of scientific knowledge, knowledge exchange between low- and high-income countries and training courses. The theme will be conducted in close collaboration with the other three themes in the program.

Facts:

Theme 3 is interdisciplinary and covers all cross-cutting issues in the program: sustainable intensification of agriculture, the central role of women and young people in agriculture, and access to markets and value chains.

The aim of theme 3 is to work for increased food security through sustainable increased productivity and diversity in smallholder cropping systems.

Page editor: cajsa.lithell@slu.se