7. Agroecological Approaches to Help “Climate Proof” Agriculture While Raising Productivity in the Twenty-First Century

  1. Thomas J. Sauer2,
  2. John M. Norman3 and
  3. Mannava V. K. Sivakumar4
  1. Norman Uphoff

Published Online: 7 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470960257.ch7

Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics

Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics

How to Cite

Uphoff, N. (2011) Agroecological Approaches to Help “Climate Proof” Agriculture While Raising Productivity in the Twenty-First Century, in Sustaining Soil Productivity in Response to Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Ethics (eds T. J. Sauer, J. M. Norman and M. V. K. Sivakumar), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470960257.ch7

Editor Information

  1. 2

    US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, Iowa, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA

  3. 4

    Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Author Information

  1. Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture, and Development, Ithaca, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 JUN 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 JUL 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470958575

Online ISBN: 9780470960257

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Keywords:

  • agroecology;
  • drought resistance;
  • greenhouse gas reductions;
  • pest and disease resistance;
  • rice yields;
  • soil biology;
  • System of Rice Intensification;
  • water saving

Summary

Experience with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) developed in Madagascar in the 1980s indicates that crops' vulnerability to adverse effects of climate change can be reduced by agroecological practices while enhancing their yield. Such practices promote more productive phenotypes from existing crop genotypes by supporting the growth and functioning of plant roots and the abundance, diversity and activity of beneficial soil organisms. SRI concepts and methods are now also being extended beyond rice to other crops.

While SRI is still controversial in some circles, its merits have been seen in more than three dozen countries, and rice researchers in China, India and elsewhere have validated the higher factor productivity achieved with SRI methods in environment-friendly ways. The methods also help crops resist drought, storm damage, pests and diseases, and even may reduce greenhouse gases. Such effects may prove more valuable in the future than enhanced yield and farmer income.