A multidimensional approach to food production decision making

Davis, K F and Chhatre, A and Chiarelli, D D and Fargione, J and Rao, N and Richter, B D and Singh, D and DeFries, R S (2017) A multidimensional approach to food production decision making. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts.

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Abstract

Humanity faces the grand challenge of feeding a growing, more affluent population in the coming decades while reducing the environmental burden of agriculture. Approaches that integrate food security and environmental goals offer promise for achieving a more sustainable global food system. Here we use the case of cereal production in India to explore a multidimensional framework intended to inform sustainable pathways in food security. We show that by placing greater emphasis on cereals alternative to rice and wheat (i.e., maize, millets, and sorghum) it is possible for the country to realize substantial water savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions, enhance the climate resilience of farmers, and address important nutrient deficiencies. By replacing rice areas in each district with the most consumed alternative cereals, we show that it is possible to reduce consumptive freshwater demand by 22%, improve the production of iron (+27%), zinc (+11%), and fiber (+31%), and maintain protein supply with only a modest reduction in calories (-9%). Replacing rice areas with the most locally produced alternative cereal or the cereal with the lowest water footprint yielded even greater benefits across all dimensions. These multiple benefits can be realized without cropland expansion and take into account the geographies of dietary preference and local knowledge on cultivation.

Affiliation: Indian School of Business
ISB Creators:
ISB CreatorsORCiD
Chhatre, Ahttp://orcid.org/0000-0002-5374-7867
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: food production, decision making, agriculture
Subjects: Sustainable Development
Socio Political System
Depositing User: Veeramani R
Date Deposited: 16 May 2019 15:31
Last Modified: 16 May 2019 15:31
URI: http://eprints.exchange.isb.edu/id/eprint/983
Publisher URL: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2017AGUFMGC44A..03D
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