Dryland Cereals and Legumes Agri-Food Systems: Full Proposal 2017-2022
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Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10947/4383
Turning agriculture into a business is ‘easily said, difficult to do’ in the context of smallholder agrifood systems. The reality is that agriculture as a business is highly aspirational for many poor smallholder farmers because the agrifood systems in which they farm function poorly and the incentives for investment are low due to the high risks. In much of the smallholder agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, agricultural production and food systems are underperforming; the livelihoods of over 300 million poor people who live in these regions are not improving; and the current and projected impacts of climate change are most acutely borne (ISPC, 2015). The overarching logic of the Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC) CRP is that improved capacities of agrifood systems of key cereal and legume crops will enable coherent production, market and policy innovations that deliver resilience, inclusion, poverty reduction, nutritional security and economic growth. An agrifood system includes women and men farmers and their farming and livelihood system, businesses and markets, policy makers and policies including regulation and incentives, investments in infrastructure, education and research and organizational policies that shape how business, research and policy-making is practiced (Box 1). A high level organizing principle for GLDC is that targeted agrifood systems cover the full continuum from: a) Subsistence agriculture, where farmers produce and consume on farm, selling and buying locally in good and poor seasons; through tob) Commercial agriculture, where commodities are produced for specific end-markets. This coverage of agrifood systems allows GLDC research to deliver both resilience in food and nutritional security and opportunities for market-oriented development for smallholder farmers. Beyond the major global commodities of rice, wheat and maize, there are cereal and grain legume crops: sorghum, pearl millet, barley, chickpea, common bean, cowpea, groundnut and pigeonpea: that are important in the food systems of developing countries. These crops are found in shared, but also different, agro-ecologies and farming systems. However, in contrast to the major commodities, these important crops all share the same constraints of underdeveloped agrifood systems due to inadequate support and investment by the public and private sectors. They also share their multiple values in agrifood systems as nutritious and resilient food for local consumption and as traded commodities, or as feed and fodder for livestock, and in their particular importance for women farmers and consumers.