To mulch or to munch? Big modelling of big data | Land Portal | Asegurando los Derechos a la Tierra a través de Datos Abiertos

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Mayo 2017
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
License of the resource: 

African farmers are poorly resourced, highly diverse and aground by poverty traps making them rather impervious to change. As a consequence R4D efforts usually result in benefits but also trade-offs that constraint adoption and change. A typical case is the use of crop residues as mulches or as feedstock. Here we linked a database of household surveys with a dynamic whole farm simulation model, to quantify the diversity of trade-offs from the alternative use of crop residues. Simulating all the households in the survey (n = 613) over 99 years of synthetic climate data, showed that benefits and trade-offs from “mulching or munching” differ across agro-ecologies, and within agro-ecologies across typologies of households. Even though trade-offs between household production or income and environmental outcomes could be managed; the magnitude of the simulated benefits from the sustainable intensification of maize-livestock systems were small. Our modelling framework shows the benefits from the integration of socio-economic and biophysical approaches to support the design of development programs. Our results support the argument that a greater focus is required on the development and diversification of farmers' livelihoods within the framework of an improved understanding of the interconnectedness between biophysical, socio-economic and market factors.

Autores y editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Rodriguez, D. Rufino, M.C. Odendo, M. van Wijk, Mark T. Voil, P. de Lancaster University
Corporate Author(s): 

The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. We strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, we have educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.

The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) is a premier national institution bringing together research programmes in food crops, horticultural and industrial crops, livestock and range management, land and water management, and socio-economics. KARI promotes sound agricultural research, technology generation and dissemination to ensure food security through improved productivity and environmental conservation.

Proveedor de datos


CGIAR is the only worldwide partnership addressing agricultural research for development, whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.

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