Water for Food, Water for Life: The Drylands Challenge
Vinay Nangia. (10/11/2020). Water for Food, Water for Life: The Drylands Challenge.
Dry areas face major challenges, including insufficient rainfall, climate variability and change, land degradation, desertification, recurring droughts, temperature extremes, high population growth, widespread poverty, and unemployment. By 2050, we expect a population of 9 billion that will cause a "perfect storm" of food, energy and water shortages as demand for fresh water, food and energy will climb by 30%, 50% and 70%, respectively. Therefore, a paradigm shift is needed to produce more nutritious food from less land, water, and inputs without further pressure on the declining natural resources. This is why ICARDA conducts a system-based research where the innovation is grounded in the smart management of interactions (Genotype x Environment x Management) between the components (soil, crops, livestock, trees, water) of the farming systems in specific agro-ecologies and socio-economic contexts. There is a need to move from component research to system research, and to move from farm yields to maximizing economic water productivity from diversified and integrated production systems by optimizing overall resource-use efficiency.