Water and Cereals in Drylands

Water and Cereals in Drylands

Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
Select a Purchase Option (1)
  • purchase options
  • purchase options


Water and Cereals in Drylands

This topic is central to contemporary concerns for more sustainable agricultural development. This is a well-written and clear book, with excellent data, tables and illustrations, addressing issues of water use, climate change, poverty and small farmers. The authors are highly respected and complement each other's acknowledged international expertise.'
Professor Jules Pretty, University of Essex, UK

'This useful guide shows that there is great potential for increasing the productive capacity of smallholder farms in the drylands via a range of water management techniques, from the simple to the more complex. Providing a theoretical grounding and a practical guide, Water and cereals in the drylands will appeal to workers on-location as well as students, researchers and policymakers.'
New Agriculturalist

Cereals are by far the most important source of food throughout the world, either directly for human consumption or indirectly in the form of animal feed for livestock products consumed as food. With world population set to rise to nine billion by 2050, there is an urgent need to examine ways to increase cereal production. Indeed recently the future of cereal production and consumption has been complicated by rising energy prices and the economics of biofuels, which are competing for the use of cereals. One way to increase cereal production is by the more effective use of marginal dryland areas.

This book reviews the potential for increased cereal production in drylands across the world, from the USA, Australia and Southern Europe to Asia and Africa. It describes how improved water conservation, water harvesting and investment options can contribute to this, and suggests policies for the more efficient use of existing natural resources in order to lessen the dependence of agriculture on further irrigation development.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781844077090
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 12/28/2008
Edition description: 1
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 6.96(w) x 9.94(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Preface viii

Introduction 1

1 Drylands, People And Land Use 5

Characteristics of drylands 5

Dryland people 9

Land use systems in drylands 9

Land degradation in drylands 11

Effects of livestock on the resource base 14

Effects of climate change on drylands 15

2 Cereal Production In Drylands 17

Recent trends in worldwide cereal production 17

The role of livestock in cereal production 20

The role of irrigation in cereal production 21

Expansion of cereal production 23

3 Enhancing Cereal Production In Drylands 25

Water-use efficiency 26

In situ water conservation 28

Terraces 30

Conservation bench terraces 31

Contour furrows 31

Contour bunds 31

Land levelling with laser and mini benches 32

Tied ridges 32

Water harvesting 34

Micro catchments 36

Floodwater harvesting 37

Rooftop water harvesting 37

Factors affecting runoff 37

Reducing evaporation 39

Increasing soil organic matter content and fertility 42

The importance of crop and cultivar selection 46

Role of indigenous and introduced practices 47

Combining modern with traditional technologies 49

Supplementary irrigation in semi-arid regions 50

4 Social And Economic Aspects Of Dryland Investment 53

Investment constraints 53

Investment potential 55

Opportunities and risks of growing feedstocks for biofuels in drylands 56

Payments for environmental services 58

Carbon trading 58

Economics of water harvesting 58

Economics of water-conservation practices 61

Current scenario in dryland regions 62

5 Wider Issues Of Water In Drylands 65

Conclusions 69

Bibliography 71


1 Definitions Of Drylands And Dryland Farming 83

2 DevelopmentOf Dryland Farming In Various Regions 85

3 Background Tables 93

4 Cereals Production Maps 97

Index 105

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews