The CGIAR Research Program CRP1.1 Dryland Systems ("Integrated agricultural production systems for the poor and vulnerable in dry areas") is designed to pursue new knowledge about dryland agro-ecosystems of the developing world and to develop technologies and policies that will improve the livelihoods of poor agricultural communities in target regions of those. Key constraints to be overcome characterize dryland agricultural environments: water scarcity, frequent droughts, high climatic variability, poor soil resources, and land degradation, with all of these likely to be affected by climate change.
The drylands of the world are highly diverse, which is why it has been a particular challenge to outscale results from a mostly reductionist approach to crop and land & water management research focusing on individual components of the agro-ecosystem from specific research sites to large areas. An integrated agro-ecosystems approach to research-for-development is needed. Characterization of their particular agricultural environments is therefore a conditio sine qua non for a successful drylands research-for-development program. As part of the CRP 1.1 activities, geographic information systems (GIS) are expected, on the one hand, to play a major role in generating new knowledge about the drylands of the developing world, and, on the other hand, to integrate, process, transform and document through spatial analysis, existing knowledge.
The overall goal is to identify and develop resilient diversified and more productive combinations of mixed crop/livestock, rangeland, aquatic and agroforestry systems that have the potential to be scaled-up, especially in dry areas where water is scarce.
CGIAR Research Program 1.1 targets the poor and highly vulnerable populations of the dry areas. It aims to develop technology, policy and institutional innovations to improve livelihoods, using an integrated agro-ecosystems approach to research -for- development. It is currently under consideration for funding by the CGIAR Consortium of Board and the CGIAR Fund Council.