Item Details

Title: Future challenges and opportunities for agricultural R&D in the semi-arid

Date Published: 2001
Author/s: Ryan, J.G. and Spencer, D.C.
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks: ICRISAT
Journal Publisher: ICRISAT
Affiliation: Rwebitaba Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute - RwebiZARDI, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics


This publication reviews past trends, summarizes the major constraints to income growth, food security, poverty alleviation,
and environmental sustainability, and identifies future R&D strategies and priorities for the semi-arid tropics (SAT). The
study focuses on sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where poverty, food insecurity, child malnutrition, and gender
inequalities are widespread.
ICRISAT's mandate cereals are becoming less important in household food budgets in Asia, but wi l l remain staple foods of
the poor in the driest areas, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the anticipated growth in demand for livestock
products wi l l increase the derived demand for feedgrains, including sorghum and millet. Water wi l l likely be the primary
constraint throughout the SAT in the coming years. Research could focus on identifying genes that can improve water-use
efficiency and drought tolerance. Other areas include crop and systems modeling, watershed management, and water policy.
Poor soil fertility is another key issue, and could be addressed using an integrated soil, water, and nutrient management
approach. Research to improve nutrient-use efficiency wi l l be critical, especially in Africa. Research is needed on the extent,
effects, and processes of land degradation.