Enhancing use of rainwater for meat production on grasslands: an ecological opportunity towards food security

Prem Bindraban, Sjaak Conijn, Raymond Jongschaap, Qi. Jing, Munir Ahmad Hanjra, Jacob Kijne, Pasquale Steduto, Henko Udo, Theib Owels, Imke de Boer

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Based on evapotranspiration demand for crops, the additional amount of water needed for the extra food production for the coming four decades is estimated at about 2,000'4,000 km3 (2'4 x 1015 litres), depending on diet, and water productivity increase. These amounts are equivalent to the evapotranspiration of a production area of about half to one billion hectares of land respectively, at grain yields of four tonnes per hectare. This additional water can be 'incorporated' in our food through increased yield with an associated water productivity increase on the current arable area of some 35-70% and/or through expansion of the arable area. Enhancing the use of grasslands for increasing red meat production by ruminants may be an essential way to capture part of this additional water to increase the availability of healthy food products for poor and food insecure people. We estimate that the production of ruminant meat on improved grasslands can make a significant contribution to substitute expansion of arable land area. Though these gains may not be easily achieved, this is true overall for any option to enhance use efficiency of natural resources to increase productivity and improve food security.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Fertiliser Society
Editors2010 Proceedings
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherInternational Fertiliser Society
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventInternational Fertiliser Society - London, UK, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Dec 2010 → …


ConferenceInternational Fertiliser Society
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period10/12/10 → …

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