Mixed crop-and-livestock farmers can feed the growing world

ILRI Clippings

Household takes refuge from the rain in central MalawiGovernments and researchers are mistaken to continue looking to high-potential farmlands and single-commodity farming systems as the answer to alleviating world hunger. We need to bring our focus back to small-scale farming. We must change our agricultural investment priorities and paradigms to embrace not only the high-potential intensively farmed lands of the past, many of which have already reached their peak capacity, but also the relatively extensive mixed crop-and-livestock lands.

It is these mixed farms that, more than the traditional breadbaskets and rice bowls of the past, will feed the growing world over the next few decades. The group of farmers mixing crops with livestock on ‘in between’ lands—often located between high-potential farmlands and low potential rangelands—are the heavyweights in global food security. The thousand million farmers practicing modest mixed crop-and-livestock agriculture in poor countries resemble to a degree the small family farms in rich countries that have become so…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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