It’s not just about Wheat – How Diversified Cropping Systems help family farmers – and the planet.
To support dryland farmers’ livelihoods, income, and nutritional security as well as biological diversity and environmental sustainability, ICARDA, alongside its national and international partners and donors, promotes Diversified Cropping Systems (DCS) across Africa, Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The challenges faced by small-scale family farmers operating in the world’s drylands to produce nutritious and marketable food in reliable and sufficient quantities are countless.
It is in the driest regions of the globe that climate change-related shocks can be the most vividly felt – temperatures are soaring at unprecedented rates, freshwater supplies from rain, rivers and aquifers are shrinking, and pests and diseases proliferate.
All the while, biodiversity is declining due to inappropriate agricultural practices, and yields and production are struggling to keep up with rising demand.
The expansion of monoculture farming, where farmers intensively and repeatedly cultivate a single-type crop on the same tired land, while relying on large quantities of agrochemical inputs, has greatly diminished the presence of wild pollinators and natural pest-enemies, making crops increasingly unsuccessful and more vulnerable to pests, while the natural biodiversity of soil declines with every repeated crop to the point of collapse.