New Research Approaches to improve drylands agriculture to deliver a more prosperous future
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William Payne. (30/1/2013). New Research Approaches to improve drylands agriculture to deliver a more prosperous future.
This report presents the outline and context for the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems. It examines the ‘systems thinking’ that underpins the Program, against the background of climate change and the host of related problems that rural communities in the world’s drylands are increasingly facing. It details the target regions where the program is putting its research into action to test approaches to scale-up technology and policy interventions that can have a direct and positive impact for people living in these regions. The concepts presented and summarized here draw on the Dryland Systems research proposal and Inception Report that was drawn up after two years of extensive scientific consultations in five regions, that was the basis for the program’s design in 2012. The report explores how systems thinking can provide long term improvements to dryland agricultural production systems, as outlined in the recent ICARDA publication – Innovative Agriculture for Food Security. On climate change, it refers to the recent joint publication of the CGIAR Climate Change program (CCAFS) and ICARDA – Strategies for Combating Climate Change in Drylands Agriculture. It is hoped that planners, policymakers and development partners will find the information and analysis presented here useful in appreciating why there is an urgent need for new approaches to research for development – to address the problems faced by people that depend on drylands for their food security and livelihoods– and how the Dryland Systems program addresses them.