996 Chapters
Medium 9781780646862

6: Soil-focused Strategies: Reducing Water Loss

Finley, S. CABI PDF


Soil-focused Strategies:

Reducing Water Loss

Chapter 2 introduced the concepts of productive and unproductive water uses within the overall farm water budget. Recall that the only fully productive use of water is crop transpiration (T), which is supplied by readily available soil water stored within the root zone. Typically, the percentage of rainfall that ultimately translates into transpiration is very low, in most cases between 15% and 30%.1 Unproductive water uses, including e­ vaporation, runoff, weed growth and deep percolation result in the loss of the remaining portion of the water budget. Loss percentages vary widely by context – in extreme cases, the combined forces of evaporation, runoff and deep percolation can consume more than 90% of the rainwater falling on the field.2

In order to improve rainwater productivity, farm management practices must seek to shift the way that water inputs from rain are partitioned among these competing uses. The goal is to promote infiltration and reduce water losses as much as possible, leaving more water available for use in crop transpiration.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781780647753

4: A Capabilities Approach to Designing Agri-entrepreneurship Training Programs for Conflict-affected Regions: The Case of Central Mindanao, Philippines

Chan, C.; Sipes, B.; Lee, T.S. CABI PDF


A Capabilities Approach to Designing

Agri-entrepreneurship Training Programs for Conflict-affected Regions: The Case of Central Mindanao, Philippines

Mary M. Pleasant1* and Rusyan Jill Mamiit2

Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA;


University of Hawai‘i at Maˉnoa, Honolulu, Hawaii




Around the world, people are exposed to armed conflict leading to adverse impact on the socio-economic, environmental, and institutional systems in which they live. This is particularly true among countries in the Global

South, which includes most of Asia, Africa,

South and Central America, and the Middle

East, and refers to those countries that are more politically unstable, less technologically innovative, and poorer than those in the ­Global North

(Odeh, 2010). Armed conflict is a broad-scale and far-reaching problem—­approximately onethird of the world’s population is exposed to it, and half of the world’s poorest countries endured war or civil conflict at some point in the last three decades (Goodhand, 2001). Among the general population, conflict dismantles various forms of stability, and conversely engenders livelihood insecurities including threats to personal safety, income, social networks, and infrastructure, as well as increasing the possibility of displacement. Goodhand (2001) provided evidence that insecure livelihoods increase chronic poverty, and that chronic poverty can, in turn, predispose societies to further conflict.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781786393647

8 Degraded Capital Formation: the Achilles’ Heel of Syria’s Agriculture

Zurayk, R.; Woertz, E.; Bahn, R. CABI PDF


Degraded Capital Formation: the Achilles’ Heel of Syria’s Agriculture

Linda Matar*

National University of Singapore, Singapore


During most – if not all – of its developmental trajectory, pre-conflict Syria relied heavily on its agricultural sector, characterized in the literature as being both large and productive (Metral,

1984; Hinnebusch, 1989; FAO, 2003). In 1981, in his article on Arab economies in the 1970s,

Roger Owen described the agricultural sector as the Achilles’ heel of most Arab countries, advising them to follow in the footsteps of Syria and

Algeria and invest in the agricultural sectors that employed nearly half of their population (Owen,

1981, p. 9). Syria, of all major Arab states, has traditionally invested heavily in its agricultural sector and simultaneously prevented losses in valuable agricultural land to residential and commercial construction. For years, the agricultural sector was dependent on the government’s guidance and support, a legacy inherited from the Ba’athist state-interventionist policies. The

See All Chapters
Medium 9781780645742

13: Risk Considerations in AgriculturalPolicy Making

J.B. Hardaker; R.B.M Huirne; J.R. Anderson CAB International PDF

Risk Considerations in

­Agricultural Policy Making



Our illustrations in earlier chapters demonstrate that the type and severity of risks confronting f­armers vary greatly with the farming system and with the climatic, policy and institutional setting. This is the case in both more developed countries (MDCs) and less developed countries (LDCs). Nevertheless, agricultural risks are prevalent throughout the world and, arguably, have increased over time, as is suggested by the food, fuel and finance crises that have beset the world since 2007. Moreover, climate change appears to be creating more risk for agriculture in many locations. These prevalent and prospective agricultural risks have naturally attracted the attention of many governments – groups of DMs who have so far received little focus in our discussion. In this chapter we address analysis of risk management from this rather different point of view.

In our treatment we deal first with government interventions that have risk implications. Governments should realize that they are an important source of risk, as explained in earlier chapters, in particular when interventions negatively affect the asset base of farms. Potentially successful interventions are not those that merely reduce variance or volatility, but those that increase risk efficiency and resilience (to shocks, such as occasions of severely reduced access to food in LDCs, or extreme weather conditions). In many cases, this means increasing the expected value rather than decreasing the variance. In regard to specific instruments whereby farmers can share risk with others, we argue below that only in the case of market failure is there any reason for government involvement. Market failure is most severe in the case of so-called ‘in-between risks’ or catastrophic risks. As explained later, in-between risks are risks that, by their nature, cannot be insured or hedged. Catastrophic risks are risks with low probabilities of occurrence but severe consequences. In this chapter we address issues in developing policies to manage these difficult risks as well as the management of some emerging risks, such as extreme weather, food-price spikes, food safety, epidemic pests and animal diseases, and environmental risks.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781845938116

1 Managing Invasive Species in Heterogeneous Ecosystems

Monaco, T.A., Editor CAB International PDF


Managing Invasive Species in

Heterogeneous Ecosystems

Joel R. Brown and Brandon T. Bestelmeyer

US Department of Agriculture, New Mexico State University, USA


Ecologically based invasive plant management (Sheley et al., 2010) provides a mechanistic framework for diagnosing causes of plant invasions and selecting management responses. This approach requires the organization of multiple sources of information, much of which is highly dependent upon spatial and temporal context. Although there have been substantial efforts to identify the characteristics of successful invaders as a means to predict which plants are likely to be successful when introduced into new environments, the use of species attributes alone is a poor predictor of which plants will invade a particular landscape (Mack et al., 2000). In fact, many of the plants currently defined as ‘invaders’ in ecological terms and ‘noxious weeds’ in legal terms are native to the regions and landscapes, if not the plant communities, they invade. This combination of species attributes (invasiveness) and plant community or landscape susceptibility (invasibility) complicates the development of a universal set of principles for prediction, and even post hoc analysis, of the interactions of invasive plants and landscapes. Because the information necessary for successful implementation of management responses is so highly variable in both time and space, as well as by invasive species, a systematic approach to organization, analysis, and decision-making is essential.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters