India has the largest area of rainfed dryland agriculture globally, with a variety of distinct types of farming systems producing most of its coarse cereals, food legumes, minor millets, and large amounts of livestock. All these are vital for national and regional food and nutritional security. Yet, the rainfed drylands have been relatively neglected in mainstream agricultural and rural development policy. As a result, significant social-ecological challenges overlap in these landscapes: endemic poverty, malnutrition and land degradation. Sustainable intensification of dryland agriculture is essential for helping to address these challenges, particularly in the context of accelerating climate change. In this paper, we present 100 questions that point to the most important knowledge gaps and research priorities. If addressed, these would facilitate and inform sustainable intensification in Indian rainfed drylands, leading to improved agricultural production and enhanced ecosystem services. The horizon scanning method used to produce these questions brought together experts and practitioners involved in a broad range of disciplines and sectors. This exercise resulted in a consolidated set of questions covering the agricultural drylands, organized into 13 themes. Together, these represent a collective programme for new cross- and multi-disciplinary research on sustainable intensification in the Indian rainfed drylands.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
|Early online date
|27 Nov 2020
|Published - 2021
We extend grateful thanks to all the colleagues who have responded thoughtfully to our call for questions and canvassed their professional networks to ensure input from a wide range of stakeholders. The lead author extends thanks to Anglia Ruskin University for supporting two Undergraduate placements, providing essential research assistance for the project. The authors thank anonymous reviewers for their comments on the paper, which have significantly strengthened the manuscript.
- rainfed agriculture
- sustainable intensification