Initiative:

Mixed Farming Systems

Challenge

Most agricultural production in the Global South takes place in mixed farming systems, which allow farmers to diversify risk from single crop production, use labor efficiently, access cash and add value to products, and there is high potential for increasing system productivity, diversification and sustainability. However, factors such as climate change, population pressure, urbanization, water scarcity, changing diets and volatile food prices mean that integrated yet flexible and accelerated changes in mixed farming systems will be needed to achieve global targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable intensification, or the production of more food on the same piece of land and with the same or less inputs while reducing the negative environmental impact, is a viable avenue. 

Two hurdles must be overcome to adequately meet the challenge at farming systems level. One hurdle is to ensure efficient coordination, integration and transfer of innovations, information, tools and standardized methodologies. The second, is to integrate and minimize trade-offs (while maximizing synergies) between multiple biophysical and socio-economic thematic-level outputs that will ensure impact at scale. 

Objective

This Initiative aims to provide equitable, transformative pathways for improved livelihoods of actors in mixed farming systems through sustainable intensification within target agroecologies and socioeconomic settings.   

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