Water, nutrition and policy nexus (developing optimal farming systems)

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Agriculture can be reshaped for producing more nutritious (diversified) food and to use scarce water resources more efficiently. Major food crops such as rice, wheat and maize provide sufficient calories but are inadequate in necessary nutrients required for healthy life. Agriculture uses more than 80 to 90 per cent of available water in irrigation-intense countries but also with an increased use of groundwater which poses serious threat to food security. For example, country like Pakistan is most affected due to increasing groundwater depletion and exporting the major food crops grown with non-sustainable groundwater use. Agricultural sector in Pakistan contributes 20% of GDP but the share of major food crops is only 5% of the GDP. Agricultural sector uses 90% of the available water in the country but the major food crops use up to 80% of the available water. Therefore, growing more of minor crops such as pulses, legumes and vegetables can complement the nutritious values required and reduce the overall water use in the sector. Increasing production of nutritious (diversified) food can also provide opportunity for the smallholder farmers. However, production of diversified and minor food crops are not sufficiently promoted in the country. Pakistan produces and exports wheat and rice but imports pulses and lentils. Hence this type of policy can be improved in relation to food self-sufficiency, scarce water resources and foreign exchange. There is a need to develop optimal farming systems to enhance nutritional values, water use efficiency and farming livelihood (Water, Nutrition and Policy Nexus).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2020
EventResearch for a Changing World: ILWS Online Conference 2020 - Online
Duration: 26 Nov 202027 Nov 2020
https://www.csu.edu.au/research/ilws/engagement/events/ilws-conference-2020 (program and abstracts)


ConferenceResearch for a Changing World
OtherThe Institute’s first-ever on-line conference has been hailed as a “resounding success.” The free conference, which was held November 26 and 27, 2020, was an opportunity for members to share the results and conclusions from recent projects
and activities and to showcase the work of our strong research teams.

The presentations represented all categories of Institute membership – Full Member, Associate Member, Adjunct and Student. There were also two presentations by undergraduate students associated with the Institute.

The Conference is free and open to everyone.

The program reflects the multi and trans-disciplinary research ethos of ILWS.
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