DWFI researchers contributed to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations' State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2020 publication.
Intensifying water constraints threaten food security and nutrition and action is needed to make water use in agriculture more sustainable and equitable. Irrigated agriculture remains by far the largest user of freshwater, but scarcity of freshwater is a growing problem owing to increasing demand and competition for freshwater resources. At the same time, rainfed agriculture is facing increasing precipitation variability driven by climate change. These trends will exacerbate disputes among water users and inequality in access to water, especially for small-scale farmers, the rural poor and other vulnerable populations. The 2020 SOFA report addresses these issues.
FAO's SOFA presents new estimates on the pervasiveness of water scarcity in irrigated agriculture and of water shortages in rainfed agriculture, as well as on the number of people affected. It finds major differences across countries, and also substantial spatial variation within countries. This evidence informs a discussion of how countries may determine appropriate policies and interventions, depending on the nature and magnitude of the problem, but also on other factors, such as the type of agricultural production system, the countries’ level of development and their political structures. Based on this, the publication provides guidance on how countries can prioritize policies and interventions to overcome water constraints in agriculture, while ensuring efficient, sustainable and equitable access to water.
Mesfin Mekonnen, former DWFI research assistant professor, and Christopher Neale, DWFI director of research, published a background paper for the project, “Closing the water productivity gaps of crop and livestock products: a global analysis.” Yulie Meneses, DWFI water for food processing specialist and Bing Wang, DWFI Faculty Fellow, also published a background paper, “Water use in the food industry.”
Read the full report
When it comes to food and water security, in addition to building large centrally managed irrigation infrastructure projects, it’s important to help smallholder farmers make decisions on personal investments in irrigation, including the design, purchase, and installation of irrigation systems....
Increasingly frequent drought events pose a high risk to agricultural producers in the U.S. and other farming areas around the world. The need for a better understanding of how to manage water resources to help mitigate drought and other impacts of climate change has spawned a new era of water policy....
As technology advances, it has become increasingly clear how agricultural water management tools developed by Nebraska researchers and others around the world can help create powerful synergistic systems to support producers....
Search More Articles
Search the 2021 Annual Report for more articles.