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From water conservation to crop selection, how farmers can take action against drought

Phys.org/news (OCTOBER 25, 2022)

Titre : From water conservation to crop selection, how farmers can take action against drought

As climate change accelerates, many countries around the world are increasingly facing the risk of drought. Water scarcity has become one of the major constraints of food production in the 21st century, and a major threat for our current and future food security.

Phys.org/news (OCTOBER 25, 2022)

Présentation
In the Horn of Africa, four consecutive rainfall deficit seasons have led to more than 16 million persons facing severe hunger in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Droughts and other climate shocks like this summer heat wave become more frequent in the current climate crisis.

Because crops’ primary source of water is rain, they’re highly vulnerable to drought. Even where farmers have underground sources of water available, many are running dry. In Morocco, the water crisis and competition with other sectors may soon make farming in regions such as Agadir difficult or even impossible.

Yet in the next 20 to 30 years, we will need to boost agricultural production by as much as 70%, especially in Africa. Agriculture is the first user of water resources (70% to 80%) and thus needs to radically increase its efficiency to respond to declining resources and a growing demand for drinking water and other uses, including industry, tourism and ecosystem preservation.

So how can we sustainably grow crop production in the context of droughts that are more frequent, more intense and longer lasting ? If we look over the science, this largely comes down to crop selection. More specifically, the capacity for a wheat or pea variety to produce more grain with less water is the combination of three phenomenons

Source  : Delphine Luquet, Ndjido Ardo Kane and Vincent Vadez, The Conversation

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

Page publiée le 17 janvier 2023