Advances in Improving Adaptation of Common Bean and Brachiaria Forage Grasses to Abiotic Stresses in the Tropics

Authored by: Idupulapati Madhusudana Rao

Handbook of Plant and Crop Physiology

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553286
eBook ISBN: 9781466553293
Adobe ISBN:


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Agriculture occupies about 38% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface. Croplands cover 1.53 billion hectares, while pastures cover another 3.38 billion hectares (Foley et al., 2011). Between 1985 and 2005, the world’s croplands and pastures expanded by 154 million hectares with a net redistribution of agricultural land toward the tropics, with implications for food production, food security, and the environment. Over one billion people are hungry and living in poverty, and 75% of them live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, with the majority relying on small-scale crop–livestock systems. To meet the food needs of the expected 9.2 billion people in 2050, agricultural production has to increase by 70% compared to what it was in 2000. About 90% of this expansion will be through production intensification (i.e., increase in output per unit area), and 10% will be from area expansion mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America (FAO, 2010).

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