The African Farming Systems Update Project. Farming systems and food security in Africa: Priorities for science and policy under global change. Technical Annex: FS Characterization with GAEZ Data

van Velthuizen H, Fischer G, & Hizsnyik E (2013). The African Farming Systems Update Project. Farming systems and food security in Africa: Priorities for science and policy under global change. Technical Annex: FS Characterization with GAEZ Data. IIASA Report. Laxenburg, Austria: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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Abstract

In 2012, the government of Australia established the Australia International Centre for Food Security (AICFS) to help achieve food and nutritional security in Africa through the provision of focused research and capacity building.

Hosted by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR), AICFS research will help boost the productivity and commercial orientation of smallholder agriculture and support the improvement of livelihoods in a sustainable manner. The Centre undertakes medium to long-term end-user driven collaborative agricultural research for development and it develops education and training programs as well as strategies that build innovation and R&D capacity; and deploy research outputs and encourage take up by smallholder farmers.

The AICFS research will contribute to informing the agenda for food security in Africa as well as underpin the development of the strategic orientation and program portfolio of AICFS. One of the research foci is the update of earlier farming systems work (Dixon et al 2001) in the African Farming Systems Update Project: “Farming systems and food security in Africa: Priorities for science and policy under global change”. This work aims to fill a current gap for a suitable text on African farming systems for university courses. It will also provide a valuable resource for governments in their efforts to understand and harness the key trends that are expected to influence farming systems evolution over the next fifteen years as well as for academic programs that AICFS plans on developing.

A workable number of farming systems was selected for the purpose of targeting policy makers who need relatively large-scale tendencies for planning. Among the 14 systems identified in the 2001 study, thirteen farming systems were defined based on agro-ecological criteria. Farming systems and subsystems definitions and map classes follow a rigorous basis and explicit set of principles. The first principle applied is to have the continental level farming systems map classes align with length of growing period (LGP) boundaries. LGP is a component of agro-ecological zones (AEZs) that include amongst others, climate, soils, terrain and land cover resources inventories. The LGP map used is from the GAEZ version 3.0, released by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and FAO through their GAEZ data portals in May 2012.

As a further contribution to the African Farming Systems Update Project, IIASA provided farming system characterizations with biophysical and agronomic GAEZ data. This work is documented in this technical annex.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Report)
Research Programs: Water (WAT)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 10:57
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2019 10:57
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15771

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