Handbook on Climate Change and Agriculture
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Handbook on Climate Change and Agriculture

Edited by Ariel Dinar and Robert Mendelsohn

This book explores the interaction between climate change and the agriculture sector. Agriculture is essential to the livelihood of people and nations, especially in the developing world; therefore, any impact on it will have significant economic, social, and political ramifications. Scholars from around the world and from various fields have been brought together to explore this important topic.
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Chapter 18: Adaptation to Climate Change in Mixed Crop–Livestock Farming Systems in Developing Countries

Philip K. Thornton, Mario Herrero and Peter G. Jones


18 Adaptation to climate change in mixed crop– livestock farming systems in developing countries Philip K. Thornton, Mario Herrero and Peter G. Jones INTRODUCTION Mixed crop–livestock systems play a critical role globally, particularly in developing countries. Many of the one billion people who live on less than $1 a day are currently fed by hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers in the tropics. In many developing countries in the future, mixed crop–livestock systems could be crucial for future food security, as two-thirds of the global population already live in these systems and a large proportion of future population growth is projected to occur within them (Herrero et al., 2009). Despite their current and future importance, the likely impacts of global change on mixed systems in developing countries have not been extensively studied to date. In this chapter the nature and importance of mixed systems are discussed, combined with an outline of some of the key interactions between crops and livestock. Mixed systems have been seen as one stage in the evolution of agricultural systems from extensive to intensive, and this framework is briefly presented. The following section contains a short review of what we know about the impacts of climate change on mixed crop–livestock systems in developing countries and how shifts in climate and climatic variability may add to the burden faced by such countries that are largely dependent on agriculture for economic development. We then discuss adaptation and mitigation options in relation to the mixed systems...

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