Food production

The estimates for the main crop production and yield changes according to FAO data are shown in Table 5.4 (Chapter 12). Those are done assuming a very substantial increase of cropland area and yield increase. However, expert judgement, according to basin team interviews, shows that there is very limited potential in the Syr Darya Basin for increasing cropland area. The assumption reflected in Table 5.4 is that under business as usual (BAU, without application of adaptation strategies), there

Table 5.4. Expected changes of the crop area, production and yield for the main crops in Syr Darya Basin (Chapter 12).

Crop

1998/BAU

2030/BAU

2050/BAU

Table 5.4. Expected changes of the crop area, production and yield for the main crops in Syr Darya Basin (Chapter 12).

Crop

1998/BAU

2030/BAU

2050/BAU

Cotton

Area (ha) Production (t) Yield (t/ha)

812,000 1,786,400 2.2

882,000 2,116,800 2.4

1,030,000 2,472,000 2.4

Wheat

Area (ha) Production (t) Yield (t/ha)

1,079,000 2,457,900 2.3

1,373,000 4,033,000 2.9

1,473,000 4,882,300 3.3

Potato

Area (ha) Production (t) Yield (t/ha)

84,000 1,106,400 13.2

66,000 1,828,200 27.7

60,000 2,117,600 35.3

Fodder

Area (ha) Production (t) Yield (t/ha)

1,350,000 1,350,000 1.0

1,544,000 2,161,600 1.4

1,634,000 2,614,400 1.6

Total cropland (ha)

4,088,000

4,978,000

5,327,000

Total cropland irrigated (%)

88

88

88

would not be any substantial increase in the cropland area in the basin (van Dam, 1999).

SWAP modelling for the Syr Darya Basin (Droogers and van Dam, 2004) suggests a significant increase in yields under the A2 CC scenario, due to higher CO2 concentration levels as compared to the B2 scenario (Fig. 5.6). However, since water availability remains the main factor restricting crop production, we assume that the 'moderate and humid' B2 scenario would be more favourable in terms of yield increase as well as overall crop production compared to the 'hot and dry' A2 scenario. The assumed changes of production for the main crops in the basin according to basin team judgement relate to the reduction of cotton production (the most water-demanding crop in the basin) and switching to less water-dependent wheat, potatoes and fodder crops. This tendency became quite apparent in the last decade, when due to the political changes (the disintegration of the Soviet Union) a new water manage-

Wheat yields (kg/ha)

5500 5000 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500

Cotton yields (kg/ha)

2800

2300

1800

2800

2300

1800

1961-1990 2010-2039 2070-2099

1961-1990 2010-2039 2070-2099

1961-1990 2010-2039 2070-2099

Fig. 5.6. Wheat and cotton yields according to SWAP model outputs (non-dashed line) and Basin team assumptions (dashed line), for CC scenarios A2 and B2.

Table 5.5. Assumed changes of the cropland and rangeland area for the scenarios A2 and B2 in 2070-2099.

2070-2099 2070-2099

1961-1990 A2 B2

Cropland (ha) 4,141,500 4,100,000 4,500,000

Rangeland (ha) 26,273,800 22,500,000 21,500,000

Table 5.6. Expected changes of the production for the main crops, meat and milk in Syr Darya Basin (basin team expertise). Production is given in (x1061).

2010-2039 2070-2099 2070-2099

Crop 1961-1990 A2,B2 A2 B2

Cotton 2.240 1.971 2.368 2.756

Wheat 2.660 3.207 3.890 4.470

Potato 1.964 4.422 5.896 6.287

Meat 0.517 0.891 1.180 1.196

Milk 1.676 2.295 2.535 2.727

ment and allocation relationship developed in the newly independent countries of the Syr Darya Basin, which resulted in drastic water shortages for agriculture in the first years. Thus, the adaptation farmers made in the last decade to cope with that change in water availability can be used as a model of response for future changes.

Another assumption is that there would be an increase in livestock and thus an increase in rangeland in the region (Table 5.5). There was an apparent decline in sheep and cattle in the early 1990s, following economic hardship after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This did not continue, and in the late 1990s the stock numbers gradually increased. Compared to Soviet times, the rangelands in the area were significantly underused in the last decade. Thus, our estimates for the production of meat and milk are indicating positive changes (Table 5.6). Small-scale animal husbandry in subsidiary farms is also a traditional measure for family self-subsistence in the Central Asian region.

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