Sustainable intensification of non-tropical dry area crop and livestock production systems, with a strong market orientation, is a key driver of increasing agricultural productivity, and is crucial to addressing livelihoods, food security, and the sustainable use of natural resources under changing climate conditions.
ICARDA’s efforts to strengthen the resilience of crop-livestock farming systems so they deliver for rural communities include: the scaling-up of sustainable agronomic practices and low-cost mechanization to address water-limited yield gaps; community-based livestock breeding programs – which involve the sustainable use of indigenous genetic resources to increase sheep and goat productivity; and the promotion of climate-smart feed production and precision feeding systems – including the safe use of marginal-quality water in feed and forage production.
ICARDA also conducts research to improve the governance and productivity of rangelands through a range of interventions that include policy and institutional innovations and rangeland restoration. A thorough analysis of the drivers of agricultural transformations in dry agro-ecologies help maintain the relevance of research to changing environments.
We embed comprehensive technology adoption studies and impact assessments in all programs to ensure that livelihood outcomes are empirically measured, and develop frameworks and modeling approaches for multi-criteria assessments (environment–economy–equity) of integrated system development to support decision making.
Rangelands are vast areas of shrub and grassland that provide an important source of income for local pastoral communities and play a critical role in climate change mitigation as carbon sinks. Despite their economic, social and environmental importance, they suffer from low productivity and increasing rates of degradation and desertification. They are also host to rising conflicts which pit pastoralists against agriculture, mining and other extractive industries. The solution: integrated landscape approaches that bring together multiple stakeholders to implement sustainable management strategies.