Articles (articles are listed by latest first)

Adapting Agriculture to Changing Climate in South Asia

Professor Pramod K Aggarwal,
Dr Arun Khatri-Chhetri
Associate Scientist, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Borlaug Institute of South Asia (BISA), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), New Delhi, 110012, India. 2 Regional Program Leader, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Borlaug Institute of South Asia (BISA), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), New Delhi, 110012, India. Summary …


Disposal of N waste during water deprivation in birds and bats

Dr David Frape
Note to readers of this editorial : tropical insectivorous bats are important for insect control! Would any reader who has a knowledge of the mechanisms of bat’s excretion of nitrogen waste or of N metabolism by bats, please comment to the editor of World Agriculture- we should be happy to publish any useful comments under your name. Water is the most critical nutrient for both plant and animal life- to maintain cellular osmotic pressure, for transport of metabolites and as the medium in …


Adapting Agriculture to Changing Climate in South Asia

Professor Sir John Marsh
The paper by Khatri-Chhetri and Aggrawal explores a range of approaches to cope with the problems of adaptation to climate change in S E Asia. Many of the adaptation strategies have relevance to agriculture in other areas. Understanding them and the forces that determine their application may prove critical in the ability of agriculture to cope with the changes that lie ahead, An issue that emerges is the importance of the structure of the food and agricultural sector in the applicati…


Editor’s comment on tropical bats and agriculture in a changing climate

Dr David Frape
This Issue considers the consequences of climate change in two quite different mammalian populations, caused by the growth of one of them in two most important world regions. Nevertheless, there is a vital connection between the bat and human population. Both these populations are affected by the destruction of tropical forests, as measured by the deducible effects on rainfall, ambient temperature, biodiversity and food supplies. The adoption of smart agricultural practices, …


Plastic film in agriculture and horticulture: risks and benefits

Robert Cook
The article by Professor Changrong Yan (1706) follows one we published in 2014 (1416) which addressed some of the challenges which this technology presents. Use of plastic film is certainly not new; it was used to establish maize in early trials in Britain in the 1970s and is widely used in Europe today, e.g. for early carrot production on sandy, dry land, for the same reasons as in China – warming of the soil under the film allows earlier and better crop establishment. This is …


The benefits and challenge of plastic film mulching in China

LI Zhen,
SUN Dongbao,
LIU Enke,
YAN Changrong,
Liu Qin,
Dr. He Wenqing
Abstract : Plastic film mulching has played an important role in Chinese agriculture owing to its effects on soil warming, moisture conservation and weed control. It has increased grain and cash crop yields by 20%–35% and 20%–60%, respectively. In 2014 plastic film covered 18.14 Mha and the amount of plastic film used reached 1.41 Mt. Despite the benefits of plastic film mulch technology, widespread use has generated large amounts of mulching plastic waste. This has …


Editor’s note on cotton

Dr David Frape
In the early 1950s the place of cotton in common use for clothes was being gradually supplanted by synthetic fibres produced from oil. In recent years cotton has regained its place owing very largely to technological developments in the agricultural sector. Moreover the number of countries producing cotton in large quantities has increased. Development has led to phenomenal increases in the yield/ha and in the fibre quality of that yield, and labour has been reduced by mechanisation. …


Competing on the World Market by Integrating Technology and Crop Management:  Cotton in Australia

David Hamilton
Australian cotton crops now produce yields of around two and a half to three times world averageand Australian cotton yields are the highest in the world. This is largely because of the rapid adoption of new technologies, but also because much of the crop is irrigated compared with many overseas countries where extensive areas of raingrown cotton are produced. This remarkable story has been one of concerted interest and investment in research development and extension (RD&E), and …


Sustainable cotton production in Australia and China

Professor Neil C. Turner
Cotton is produced in more than 100 countries in the world, but six of them – China, India, Pakistan, USA, Brazil and Uzbekistan – contribute about 80% of the total annual production of about 25 million tonnes of lint (1) . While China is the major producer of cotton, producing about 7 million tonnes per annum, Australia is the 8 th largest producer, producing about 1 million tonnes per annum, 99.9% of which is exported, mainly to China (about 0.3 million tonnes) and India (about 0.22 …


The functions and sizes of the five carbon sinks on planet Earth and their relation to climate change Part 2 Coniferous forests-do they warm or cool the climate?

Dr David Frape
Summary The UK Government and Forestry Commission state: “if we plant an additional 15,000 hectares per year, by 2050 these woodlands could be sequestering carbon equivalent to 10% of GHG emissions”(1)(Appendix A). The inference is that by lowering atmospheric CO 2 concentration with planting conifers climate cooling will follow. This is not so. This premise is wrong. Latitude-specific deforestation experiments indicate that afforestation projects in the tropics would be clearly …


Afforestation, food production and poverty- a conflict of interests?

Professor Sir John Marsh
Negotiations about the control of climate change have centred on human activities that increase emissions and on strategies that can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases.  The imperatives of raising income and alleviating poverty imply increased economic activity and higher levels of emission. To some degree these can be countered by improved technologies that depend less on fossil fuel and clean up emissions to the atmosphere and water.  However, given rising global …


Cereal and soya bean production and food security in China: Challenges and opportunities

Professor Yuncheng Liao,
Professor Kadambot H.M Siddique,
Professor Lixiang Wang,
Assistant Professor Yajun Li,
Assistant Professor Xiaolaing Qin
Introduction China’s GDP has increased steadily since 1949, reaching 63,646 billion Renminbi (1038 billion US dollars) in 2014 to become the world’s second largest economy (1) (Fig. 1).  In recent years, China’s food security has received attention from researchers and policy makers (2, 3). In 2011, China had 20% of global food production (4). Future trends in grain production, consumption and import will affect food prices in the region (5) and food security is a high priority of …


Current and forthcoming Issues of World Agriculture

Dr David Frape
The New Year will see a new ‘face’ to World Agriculture .  We shall change our WEB format, and to keep our Journal abreast of developments in internet technology, we shall for example, simplify the procedure by which one downloads references on-line.  Moreover, we shall invite readers to comment on World Agriculture , or on relevant current issues, by publishing your unedited comments, to which we shall append only your name and country. In the present Issue we give evidence of …


The Market, the Managed, or the Mixed Economy. Which should it be in the North v South China Affair?

Professor Sir John Marsh
1. Market economies provide a means by which resources are distributed to secure maximum returns to their owners. Owners and users are assumed seek maximum profit.  Owners sell them at the highest price available and users, ultimately consumers, buy at the lowest price they can find.  All participants in the market, buyers and sellers have perfect knowledge about what prices are available. 2. Given this restricted model resources move to secure the greatest value possible, given the …


The functions and sizes of the five carbon sinks on planet Earth and their relation to climate change Part I Their present sizes and locations

Dr David Frape
Introduction The carbon cycle is the biogeochemical cycle by which carbon is exchanged among  five spheres  of the Earth, carbon (C) sinks: the biosphere, pedosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere (These are not mutually exclusive, see Glossary).  Along with the nitrogen cycle and the water cycle, the carbon cycle comprises a sequence of events that is key to making the Earth capable of sustaining life; it describes the movement of carbon as it is recycled and reused …


Some notes on the politics of survival

Professor Sir John Marsh
1. We can only make policies that have the consent of the power brokers a. In a democracy such as the UK, power lies with those who win votes. b. The Brexit debate has shown how voters disregard expert views but accept uncritically populist statements from pressure groups. 2. The need to reduce fossil fuel use implies unwanted changes in lifestyles. a. The public response is likely to be fashioned by pressure groups who offer ‘easy’ options – anti-austerity for example. …


Innovative agroforestry for environmental security in India

S.B. Chavan,
Dr A.K. Handa,
Professor Parkash Toky
Introduction The role of trees in environmental security has been well known for ages.  Trees in agroforestry systems not only provide direct benefits (food, fodder, fuelwood, fertilizers, fibres, etc) but also improve soil fertility, reduce soil erosion, filter atmospheric pollutants and most importantly they maintain carbon balance.  Growing multipurpose trees along with agricultural crops, has been considered as a panacea for maladies of intensive agriculture and deforestation…


A review of Dame Fiona Reynolds’ book: The Fight for Beauty, Publ. Oneworld Publications, London 2016; and on the effects of land use on climate change

Dr David Frape
Dame Fiona has published a most apposite and timely book on the Man’s need for beauty of the natural world.  She has asked me to review it – a hard-headed scientist to review a book on beauty, is you might think, a bit incongruous.  “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”, as Plato most astutely stated – it is not subject to scientific analysis, or quantification. Nevertheless, what is beautiful is subject to teaching, or is learnt by experience. My mother once told me she …


The part played by World Agriculture in three vital roles of countryside on the Earth

Dr David Frape
This Issue is one of the more important Issues of World Agriculture.   The pages here are more numerous than is normally the case. We deal with one of our fundamental purposes and objectives.  This is to give a clear, description of the some of the complex, vital problems confronting this World and where possible propose solutions. Policy makers carry out their duties in response to pressure from the voting public.  It is up to that public with the very best and well-informed …


“Capital” farmland is part of a solution to the Chinese food security problems

Dr David Frape
A discussion of the conclusions drawn by Dr. Tang Huaizhi, Dr. Xue Jian, Prof. Yun Wenju – this Issue The Chinese Government fully recognizes the potential national problems associated with their current agricultural production and accepts the conclusions of their leading scientists as to the appropriate action to take. Over  the next 20 years, urbanization of China’s population will continue, presenting similar problems to those of western societies.  A current Chinese …