IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fpr/ifprid/1459.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Cropping intensity gaps: The potential for expanded global harvest areas:

Author

Listed:
  • Wu, Wenbin
  • You, Liangzhi
  • Chen, Kevin Z.

Abstract

To feed the world’s growing population, more food needs to be produced. In addition to cropland expansion, which faces a variety of constraints, increasing cropping intensity may provide a promising means of boosting global crop production. Yet information on the size and location of cropping intensity gaps—the difference between the maximum cropping intensity that is theoretically possible and the cropping intensity that is realized today—for current global croplands, and how much additional production can potentially be achieved by closing these gaps, is lacking. To address this issue, this study proposes a spatial approach to exploring cropping intensity gaps around the year 2000. We identify these gaps by estimating the potential multiple cropping systems and actual multiple cropping systems for current global croplands and then calculating the difference. An adapted GAEZ (Global Agro-Ecological Zone) method was used to estimate potential multiple cropping systems on the basis of meteorological data, while actual multiple cropping systems were derived from satellite-based observations. The results show that global average cropping intensity gaps are 0.48 taking temperature constraints into account and 0.17 taking temperature and precipitation constraints into account. The Latin American region has the largest concentration of cropping intensity gaps under both scenarios, followed by Africa and Asia. We also find that most food-insecure countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa south of the Sahara, as indicated by higher Global Hunger Index scores, have high or moderate cropping intensity gaps in both scenarios. Reducing the cropping intensity gaps would provide an opportunity to increase food production and help people escape extreme hunger. We estimate that global harvests on current croplands can be expanded by an amount equivalent to another 7.36 million and 2.71 million square kilometers (km2), respectively, under the temperature-limited and the temperature- and precipitation-limited scenarios. Latin America has the largest potential to achieve additional harvest area equivalents (more than 1.28 million km2) by closing cropping intensity gaps, followed by Asia (1.00 million km2). However, it must also be noted that although increasing cropping intensity can boost annual crop production per unit of cropland, this approach is not necessarily always appropriate, and the trade-offs between reducing cropping intensity gaps and caring for the environment must be considered. Only if cropping intensity can be increased sustainably is this a potential strategy for enabling global food production to meet rising food demands.

Suggested Citation

  • Wu, Wenbin & You, Liangzhi & Chen, Kevin Z., 2015. "Cropping intensity gaps: The potential for expanded global harvest areas:," IFPRI discussion papers 1459, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1459
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cdm15738.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p15738coll2/id/129407/filename/129618.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. von Grebmer, Klaus & Headey, Derek & Bene, Christophe & Haddad, Lawrence & Olofinbiyi, Tolulope & Wiesmann, Doris & Fritschel, Heidi & Yin, Sandra & Yohannes, Yisehac & Foley, Connell & von Oppeln, Co, 2013. "2013 Global Hunger Index: The challenge of hunger: Building resilience to achieve food and nutrition security," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-951-1 edited by von Oppeln, Constanze & Labahn, Marius & Towey, Olive & von Grebmer, Klaus.
    2. Erb, Karl-Heinz & Haberl, Helmut & Jepsen, Martin Rudbeck & Kuemmerle, Tobias & Lindner, Marcus & Müller, Daniel & Verburg, Peter H & Reenberg, Anette, 2013. "A conceptual framework for analysing and measuring land-use intensity," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 464-470.
    3. Neumann, Kathleen & Verburg, Peter H. & Stehfest, Elke & Müller, Christoph, 2010. "The yield gap of global grain production: A spatial analysis," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(5), pages 316-326, June.
    4. Kuemmerle, Tobias & Erb, Karlheinz & Meyfroidt, Patrick & Müller, Daniel & Verburg, Peter H & Estel, Stephan & Haberl, Helmut & Hostert, Patrick & Jepsen, Martin R. & Kastner, Thomas & Levers, Christi, 2013. "Challenges and opportunities in mapping land use intensity globally," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 484-493.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ye, Sijing & Song, Changqing & Shen, Shi & Gao, Peichao & Cheng, Changxiu & Cheng, Feng & Wan, Changjun & Zhu, Dehai, 2020. "Spatial pattern of arable land-use intensity in China," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    2. Mbanze, Aires Afonso & Viera da Silva, Carina & Ribeiro, Natasha Sofia & Silva, João F. & Santos, José Lima, 2020. "A Livelihood and Farming System approach for effective conservation policies in Protected Areas of Developing Countries: The case study of the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    3. Niedertscheider, Maria & Kuemmerle, Tobias & Müller, Daniel & Erb, Karl-Heinz, 2014. "Exploring the effects of drastic institutional and socio-economic changes on land system dynamics in Germany between 1883 and 2007," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 98-108.
    4. Wu, Wenbin & Yu, Qiangyi & You, Liangzhi & Chen, Kevin & Tang, Huajun & Liu, Jianguo, 2018. "Global cropping intensity gaps: Increasing food production without cropland expansion," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 515-525.
    5. Roux, Nicolas & Kastner, Thomas & Erb, Karl-Heinz & Haberl, Helmut, 2021. "Does agricultural trade reduce pressure on land ecosystems? Decomposing drivers of the embodied human appropriation of net primary production," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 181(C).
    6. Yu, Qiangyi & Wu, Wenbin & You, Liangzhi & Zhu, Tingju & van Vliet, Jasper & Verburg, Peter H. & Liu, Zhenhuan & Li, Zhengguo & Yang, Peng & Zhou, Qingbo & Tang, Huajun, 2017. "Assessing the harvested area gap in China," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 212-220.
    7. Yu, Qiangyi & Xiang, Mingtao & Sun, Zhanli & Wu, Wenbin, 2021. "The complexity of measuring cropland use intensity: An empirical study," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    8. Westhoek, Henk & Ingram, John & van Berkum, Siemen & Hajer, Maarten, 2015. "The European food system and natural resources: Impacts and Options," 148th Seminar, November 30-December 1, 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands 229279, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Dietrich, Jan Philipp & Schmitz, Christoph & Müller, Christoph & Fader, Marianela & Lotze-Campen, Hermann & Popp, Alexander, 2012. "Measuring agricultural land-use intensity – A global analysis using a model-assisted approach," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 232(C), pages 109-118.
    10. Edeh, Hyacinth Onuorah & Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena, 2014. "Determinants of Change and Household Responses to Food Insecurity: Empirical Evidence from Nigeria," 88th Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2014, AgroParisTech, Paris, France 169750, Agricultural Economics Society.
    11. Hampf, Anna C. & Carauta, Marcelo & Latynskiy, Evgeny & Libera, Affonso A.D. & Monteiro, Leonardo & Sentelhas, Paulo & Troost, Christian & Berger, Thomas & Nendel, Claas, 2018. "The biophysical and socio-economic dimension of yield gaps in the southern Amazon – A bio-economic modelling approach," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 1-13.
    12. Henderson, B. & Godde, C. & Medina-Hidalgo, D. & van Wijk, M. & Silvestri, S. & Douxchamps, S. & Stephenson, E. & Power, B. & Rigolot, C. & Cacho, O. & Herrero, M., 2016. "Closing system-wide yield gaps to increase food production and mitigate GHGs among mixed crop–livestock smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 106-113.
    13. von Grebmer, Klaus & Saltzman, Amy & Birol, Ekin & Wiesman, Doris & Prasai, Nilam & Yin, Sandra & Yohannes, Yisehac & Menon, Purnima & Thompson, Jennifer & Sonntag, Andrea, 2014. "2014 Global Hunger Index: The challenge of hidden hunger," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-958-0 edited by Sonntag, Andrea & Neubauer, Larissa & Towey, Olive & von Grebmer, Klaus & Yin, Sandra.
    14. Pritchard, Rose & Ryan, Casey M. & Grundy, Isla & van der Horst, Dan, 2018. "Human Appropriation of Net Primary Productivity and Rural Livelihoods: Findings From Six Villages in Zimbabwe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 115-124.
    15. Luis Santos Pereira, 2017. "Water, Agriculture and Food: Challenges and Issues," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 31(10), pages 2985-2999, August.
    16. Folberth, Christian & Yang, Hong & Gaiser, Thomas & Abbaspour, Karim C. & Schulin, Rainer, 2013. "Modeling maize yield responses to improvement in nutrient, water and cultivar inputs in sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 22-34.
    17. Larson,Donald F. & Muraoka,Rie & Otsuka,Keijiro, 2016. "On the central role of small farms in African rural development strategies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7710, The World Bank.
    18. Helena Kahiluoto & Janne Kaseva, 2016. "No Evidence of Trade-Off between Farm Efficiency and Resilience: Dependence of Resource-Use Efficiency on Land-Use Diversity," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(9), pages 1-16, September.
    19. Chengjun Wang & Zhaoyong Zhang & Ximin Fei, 2018. "Efficiency and Risk in Sustaining China’s Food Production and Security: Evidence from Micro-Level Panel Data Analysis of Japonica Rice Production," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(4), pages 1-14, April.
    20. von Grebmer, Klaus & Saltzman, Amy & Birol, Ekin & Wiesman, Doris & Prasai, Nilam & Yin, Sandra & Yohannes, Yisehac & Menon, Purnima & Thompson, Jennifer & Sonntag, Andrea, 2014. "Welthunger-Index 2014: Herausforderung verborgener hunger," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 978-0-89629-959-7 edited by Sonntag, Andrea & Neubauer, Larissa & Towey, Olive & von Grebmer, Klaus & Yin, Sandra.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cropping systems; farmland; cultivated land; agroecological zones;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1459. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ifprius.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ifprius.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.