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Dryland Systems: . Integrated and Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems for Improved Food Security and Livelihoods in Dry Areas [CRP1.1] Groundwork Report Sustainable Intensification. R. Serraj, R. Mrabet, S. Sabri, H. Dehghanisanij, and team.

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Dryland Systems:

Integrated and Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems for Improved Food Security and Livelihoods in Dry Areas [CRP1.1]

Groundwork Report

Sustainable Intensification

R. Serraj, R. Mrabet, S. Sabri, H. Dehghanisanij, and team


Ground work to address ISPC ‘must haves’:

(a) Site characterization; Identification of major production systems within each Target Region, Benchmark Area and Action Sites.

(b) Research work plans; Identification of major constraints to and opportunities for increasing production system resilience by reducing vulnerability, and for diversifying and sustainably intensifying these production systems.

  • Steps:
  • CRP1.1 Dryland Systems Framework Development Workshop- 30 January – 1 February 2012, Dubai
  • Task Force workshop SRT2 (System resilience): April 1-4, Amman
  • Task Force workshop SRT3 (Sustainable intensification): April 9-12, Rabat
  • Expert Consultation Systems analysis and Inn0vation systems: May 7-10, Rabat
  • RIW, 2-4 July Rabat.

Selection of benchmark areas & action sites

  • Reducing vulnerability (SRT2 type)
  • Sustainable intensification (SRT3 type)

Circles/ovals indicate roughly the 5 Target Regions.


Site characterization

  • Biophysical descriptors
  • - Climate (precipitation, temperature, climate change projections)
  • - Topography (landforms, elevation range, prevalent slope ranges)
  • - Soils (soil types, soil problems posing serious management challenges)
  • - Water resources (irrigation water availability, quality issues, e.g. waste water reuse)
  • Land use/land cover (kinds of agricultural/non-agricultural land, land use trends)
  • Land degradation (type and current severity of particular types of land degradation, degradation trends)
  • Socio-economic descriptors
  • - Demography (population, poverty, nutrition and health, employment)
  • - Agricultural systems (classification, descriptors related to cropping component, descriptors related to animal component, market access and characteristics, access to land, water and other inputs, system problems, system dynamics, land tenure and property rights issues)
  • - Governance, institutions, policies (institutional support, policies, local farmers organizations)
  • - Opportunities for agricultural research (opportunities for research on land tenure policy, soil and water management, de-rocking, agro-biodiversity conservation, water harvesting for range shrub plantations, drought-resistant varieties, others)

NA & WA Target areas and action sites


Key variables

Livelihood strategies

Mixed crop & livestock

Aridity index

Length of growing period


Extensive pastoralism

Climate variability

Non agricultural employment

Vegetation heterogeneity





Institutions and policy network

Implementation programs

Livelihood Capitals

Access to markets

Natural– water, land, vegetation

Road network

Social – herd size, communities

Infrastructural development

Financial – income & services

Physical – livestock & crops

Village – district level governance

Financial services

Human – knowledge & skills

Spatial Scale


Location of the Meknès-SaissAction Site

area of about 1694 km2 in the north of Morocco


Meknes – Saiss Action Site

Major target region for Agricultural intensification and for the Green Morocco Green: Agropole


Opportunities for agricultural research

  • Opportunities for R4D on:
  • GMP- Pilar II (small holding farmers)
  • Diversification
  • land tenure policy,
  • soil and water management, de-rocking,
  • Agrobiodiversity conservation,
  • Water harvesting,
  • drought-resistantvarieties, others
  • Regional Capacity Research Programs :
  • INRA, ENA, IAV Hassan II, University of Meknes, Schools for technicians,
  • Private sector (Agribusiness, value chains, etc.)

Constraints and opportunities

  • Wheat-based system Biophysical/technical
  • Low Soil fertility
  • Lack of diversification / rotation
  • Low input use: seeds, fertilizers, pesticides
  • Post Harvest loss
  • Low rate of agronomic packages adoption
  • Market/added value/ Insurance
  • Livestock: Insufficient feed
  • Pricing policy (subsidies, pricing, etc.)
  • Institutional constraints :
  • (Enabling Environments
  • Fruit-tree system
  • Low Input/technical use
  • Lack of technical package
  • Market/add value (value chain)
  • By product use/ environmental impacts
  • Product quality (Olive, oil/processing/policy…)
  • Post Harvest loss
  • Low adoption rate of agronomic packages
  • Insurance
  • Livestock: Feed lack
  • Pricing policy (subsidies, pricing etc.)

Vegetable-based system

Low sustainability


 Post Harvest (storage)

 Price volatility

 Market stability

 Seed availability


Major production systems (Action Site)

Same analysis for Egypt and Iran sites..


Lessons learnt, successes and failures

  • Case 1: Mechanization in Morocco
  • Case 2: Moroccan agricultural extension system experience
  • Case 3: Success in fresh water area in Karkheh river basin
  • Case 4: Challenges and opportunities for improving in fresh water area in KRB
  • Case 5: Rapid salinization due to lack of drainage due to policy problem (Iran) – Same foe Egypt?

Source: MAPM December 2010



Research Questions and Hypotheses

  • CRP1.1 Objectives for sustainable intensification in North Africa and West Asia:
  • Smallholder farmers must have a future throughout the WANA region
  • Agro-ecosystems should be productive and sustainable
  • If progress is achieved it has to be gender equitable
  • A way must be found for smallholder farmers to benefit from market access


H1. Some form of farm aggregation (association/ organized farmers groups) will lead to the realization of economies of size, thereby leading to increased access to innovations, improved market efficiencies, competitiveness and value addition;

H2. Rainfed wheat-based system can be sustainably intensified and diversified through crop-tree-livestock integration, agricultural innovations, and institutional arrangements providing pathways out of poverty;

H3. Irrigated production systems can be sustainably intensified through policies and institutions that ensure efficient use of land and water resources;

H4. Use of innovation systems perspective will enhance the adoption and utilization of improved technologies, markets and policies;

H5. Equitable distribution of responsibilities and benefits along the value chain among men, women and youth will enhance development of the target areas;

H6. System analysis of production and market system performance will allow optimal intensification of the production and market systems and the assessment of potential impact of innovations both in socioeconomic and ecological terms.



1. Innovation platforms for technology transfer, access to market, credit and insurance are developed and operational for the implementation of farmer’s aggregation, associating small farmers with pilot progressive farmers and/or private investor in Meknèsand Delta-Egypt sites

2. Rainfed mixed wheat-based system are profitably and sustainably intensified and diversified through integrated crop-vegetable-tree-livestock TIPOs in the action and satellite sites

3. Irrigated production systems sustainably intensified by optimizing water and land productivity while conserving and valorizing natural resources (land, water, biodiversity) in the Delta-Egypt and Karkheh River basin

4. Harvest and post-harvest practices improved, and added-value options tested for better market access in the three target sites

5. Policy and institutional options related to farmers’ aggregation, market and value chain integration, land fragmentation, water valuation and allocation evaluated in the 3 target sites

6. Effective mechanisms for rural women and youth empowerment developed and tested in the 3 sites, to equitably share benefits and responsibilities of aggregation and intensification

7. Models and knowledge management systems developed and applied for optimized systems design, and scaling up/out improved Integrated TIPOs

8. Trade-offs between systems intensification, diversification and resource use and conservation analyzed and sustainability scenarios developed in the target sites

9. Impact of the R4D monitored and future scenarios developed for the target sites


Regional model


Aggregated Indicators (Region, Vulnerable Zone)

Socio-economic context: GDP, price,….

Farm typology

Simple indicators

Farm model

Economic and policy data

Policy/environnemental measures: WFW, prime….

FADN, survey, MARS…

AM data base: by activity and Farm type

Agromanagement data

Production, Externalities


cropping system/AEnZ

Crop model

Technological innovation: no till, new rotations….

Modelling chain to assess farm decision and impacts



Farm type


(soil type)

From Hatem Belhouchette

agricultural innovation system
Agricultural Innovation System

From Ponniah Anandajayasekeram

implications of using ip
Implications of using IP

From Ponniah Anandajayasekeram

Viewing research as the central actor to being only one important component

Partnerships and networks (institutions) are critical

Needs improved research systems governance and researchers with additional skills

Investment to create innovation capacity (of all actors) and build enabling environment

Increased investment in research itself

A set of complementary policies needed

Leadership and building a culture of innovation


Work to be done in the RIW:

  • Fine‐tuning research hypotheses for the overall CRP1.1, and tailoring site‐specific hypotheses;
  • Priority setting of main research‐for‐development undertakings for the Action Sites to achieve research outcomes for the impact pathway;
  • Development of a logframefor each of the five Target Regions;
  • Develop regional impact pathways, identifying partners at all stages and considering how social change (impact) will be achieved;
  • Development of detailed workplans, underpinning scientific approaches and methods, involved partners and stakeholders.
  • Establishment of Interdisciplinary Research Teams (IRT)and Regional Stakeholder Advisory Committees (RSAC)