EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TO BENEFIT FARMERS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA AND SOUTH ASIA

Committee on a Study of Technologies to Benefit Farmers in Africa and South Asia

Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

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Committee on a Study of Technologies to Benefit Farmers in Africa and South Asia Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Govern- ing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineer- ing, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropri- ate balance. This study was supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under Contract 223-01-2460/0031. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or rec- ommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-12494-2 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-12494-8 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap. edu Cover: African women farmers transplanting rice. Courtesy, International Rice Research Institute. Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Acad- emy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding en- gineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineer- ing programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is presi- dent of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Insti- tute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sci- ences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON A STUDY OF TECHNOLOGIES TO BENEFIT FARMERS IN AFRICA AND SOUTH ASIA BRIAN A. LARKINS (Chair), University of Arizona, Tucson STEVEN P. BRIGGS, University of California, San Diego DEBORAH P. DELMER, Rockefeller Foundation (retired), New York RICHARD P. DICK, Ohio State University, Columbus RICHARD B. FLAVELL, Ceres, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California JONATHAN GRESSEL, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel TSEGAYE HABTEMARIAM, Tuskegee University, Alabama RATTAN LAL, Ohio State University, Columbus ALICE N. PELL, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York RAYMOND J. ST. LEGER, University of Maryland, College Park ROBERT J. WALL, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, Maryland Liaison from the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources TILAHUN D. YILMA, University of California, Davis (through December 2007) Project Staff ROBIN A. SCHOEN, Director, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources MICHAEL MA, Visiting Program Officer (through April 2008) PEGGY TSAI, Program Officer RUTHIE S. ARIETI, Research Associate NORMAN GROSSBLATT, Senior Editor v

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BOARD ON AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES W. REG GOMES (Chair), University of California (Emeritus), Oakland ROGER N. BEACHY, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri H.H. CHENG, University of Minnesota (Emeritus), St. Paul DANIEL M. DOOLEY, University of California, Oakland JOAN H. EISEMANN, North Carolina State University, Raleigh KIRK C. KLASING, University of California, Davis VICTOR L. LECHTENBERG, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana ROBERT PAARLBERG, Wellesley College, Watertown, Massachusetts KEITH PITTS, Curragh Oaks Consulting, Fair Oaks, California HAL SALWASSER, Oregon State University, Corvallis PEDRO A. SANCHEZ, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, Palisades, New York NORMAN R. SCOTT, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York Staff ROBIN A. SCHOEN, Director KAREN L. IMHOF, Administrative Assistant AUSTIN J. LEWIS, Senior Program Officer EVONNE P.Y. TANG, Senior Program Officer PEGGY TSAI, Program Officer CAMILLA YANDOC ABLES, Associate Program Officer KARA N. LANEY, Associate Program Officer RUTH S. ARIETI, Research Associate JANET M. MULLIGAN, Research Associate KAMWETI MUTU, Research Associate ERIN P. MULCAHY, Program Assistant vi

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Preface In 2006, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation approached the Na- tional Research Council’s Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR) about organizing a study to identify recent scientific knowledge and promising technologies that could transform the production capabili- ties of small-holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia (SA). The premise underlying the proposed study was that the historical increase in agricultural productivity in the United States occurred largely through scientific and technological innovations. Crop productivity in SSA and SA lags far behind that in most agricultural areas of the world, but there also has not been a systematic application of science and technology that could improve the situation. The subsistence farming practiced in these regions results in yields and incomes that are unpredictable, leads to environmental degradation, and ultimately leads to a lack of food security. Many of the farmers produce barely enough food to survive, let alone pro- vide a “cash crop.” Identifying ways to improve agricultural productivity in SSA and SA has been the focus of many private, national, and international organiza- tions in recent years, and many publications describe the challenges and opportunities in addressing the factors that constrain agriculture in these regions. Among them is the 2004 publication by the InterAcademy Council, Realizing the Promise and Potential of African Agriculture. That report de- scribes the unique features of African agriculture and the array of farming systems distributed across its agroecological zones and identifies broad sci- ence and technology strategies for increasing crop yields. With those reports in mind, the study committee assembled by the National Research Council vii

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Preface viii began its work by querying scientists and agriculturalists at research insti- tutions in Africa and South Asia to learn what they thought were the most serious constraints affecting farmers (see Appendix C). But although the committee believed it important to ground its study in reality, the vision and expectation of the assignment were to take a longer view of the agricultural situation in SSA and SA and to consider science and technology that would bring about dramatic improvements, even if the technology required 10 to 20 years to implement. Indeed, the committee was asked to focus on na- scent innovations, including those that posed high risks, but could also be novel and powerful. In light of that scope, the committee considered basic research projects that could be performed at any location, providing there were an application and a reasonable cost:benefit ratio. The diverse study committee included people with appropriate knowl- edge of science and technology in plant and animal agriculture, many of whom had knowledge of and work experience in SSA and SA. It was important to find the right combination of committee members who knew the agricultural constraints of the regions and the status of cutting-edge agricultural science and technology, but it was not possible to include ex- perts in all the relevant subjects. That was true not only for some aspects of plant and animal agriculture but for a number of topics in nanotechnology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. To try to address that limitation, ex- perts representing diverse fields (economics, global and rural development, metagenomics, cyberinfrastructure, soil science, weed science, livestock reproductive physiology, environmental engineering, agricultural engineer- ing, space-systems technology, nanotechnology systems for monitoring en- vironmental quality, and molecular genetics and genomics) were invited to the first workshop to complement the knowledge and experience of the committee. The interdisciplinary approach proved to be valuable in shap- ing the scope of additional workshops, and the committee is grateful to all those experts (see Appendix D). The workshops covered a wide variety of topics that are described in the report. The severity of the current agricultural situation in SSA and SA and the accompanying social, political, and health consequences made it difficult not to consider the potential benefits of currently available technologies and approaches that could be adapted to help farmers in these regions. Consequently, as we formulated our report, we felt it important to define “emerging” technologies as both existing technologies that might not yet have been effectively applied to problems in SSA and SA and approaches that will require additional research and technological development before they can be applied. The task required the committee to take on a mindset to be realistic and visionary at the same time. As the committee developed a framework for developing priorities among different research approaches and technological directions, it was struck with the difficulty of establish-

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Preface ix ing priorities among them, because improving agricultural productivity requires a systems approach. The committee’s recommendations ultimately reflect that reality, and include priorities for improving all elements of the production system. The committee believes that its report provides a compressive overview of many current and some future problems that will affect agricultural pro- ductivity in SSA and SA. It was prepared as an independent study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to identify emerging technologies in agriculture that have the potential to improve the quality of life of small- holder farmers in the regions. We hope that a broad range of stakeholders will find the report’s conclusions and recommendations to be of value in their efforts to improve agriculture and enhance the lives of people living in those regions. On behalf of the committee, I want to express our thanks and ap- preciation to Robin Schoen, director of BANR, for the time and effort she put into assembling the committee, planning the meetings and workshops, and organizing the written report. Those tasks would have been impos- sible without her enduring patience and hard work. We also thank all the BANR study staff for their support and assistance with our meetings and in preparing the final report. Brian A. Larkins, Chair Committee on a Study of Technologies to Benefit Farmers in Africa and South Asia

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Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Gary Anderson, University of California, Davis (Emeritus) Edward Buckler, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York Maarten Chrispeels, University of California, San Diego Edward David, Jr., EED, Inc., Bedminster, New Jersey Ken Giller, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands Bruce Hammock, University of California, Davis Jack Keller, Keller-Bliesner Engineering LLC, Logan, Utah Fina Opio, Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, Uganda M.V. Subba Rao, Agricultural University in Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, India Robert Serafin, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Alfonso Torres, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York xi

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acknowledgments xii Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclu- sions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Enriqueta C. Bond, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and R. James Cook, Washington State University (Emeritus). Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 SUMMARY 5 1 INTRODUCTION 23 Agriculture and Poverty, 23 The Science and Technology of Tomorrow, 25 A Study of Emerging Technologies, 26 Study Approach, 27 Organization of the Report, 28 References, 28 2 CONSTRAINTS ON CROP AND ANIMAL PRODUCTIVITY IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA AND SOUTH ASIA 31 Overview of Crop Production in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 31 General Constraints on Crop Production, 35 Biotic Constraints on Crop Productivity, 44 Overview of Animal Production in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 51 General Constraints on Animal Production, 55 Constraints That Cannot be Solved by Science and Technology Alone, 57 A Future Uncertainty: Climate Change, 61 xiii

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contents xiv Lack of Quick Fixes, 63 References, 63 3 PLANT IMPROVEMENT AND PROTECTION 71 Enhancing Crop Performance, 71 Existing Tools for Conventional Plant Improvement, 74 Existing and Evolving Tools for Conventional and Transgenic Approaches to Plant Improvement, 78 Existing and Evolving Tools for Transgenic Crop Improvement, 88 Current Bottlenecks in Crop Improvement, 102 Plant Protection with Classical and Genetically Engineered Biocontrol Agents, 106 References, 111 4 WATER RESOURCE AVAILABILITY 123 Water Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa, 123 Water Resources in South Asia, 125 Demand on Water Resources in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 126 Water Resources and Climate Change, 128 Technologies for Water Management, 129 Weather and Climate Forecasting, 137 Model Development for Climate and Weather Prediction, 140 References, 141 5 TECHNOLOGIES FOR SOIL IMPROVEMENT 145 Soil Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 145 Restoring Soil Quality with Established Management Practices, 146 Novel Technologies to Improve Soil Productivity, 152 Manipulating Microorganisms in the Rhizosphere, 157 References, 167 6 TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE ANIMAL HEALTH AND PRODUCTION 177 Roles of Animals in Society, 177 Animal Production Systems, 178 Improving Animal Nutrition, 179 Existing and Evolving Technologies for Improving Animal Germplasm, 185 Leapfrogging Selective Breeding with Molecular Sampling: DNA-Derived Pedigrees, 186 Genetic Engineering, 188 Germ Cell Distribution, 192

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contents xv Spermatogonial Stem Cell Transplantation, 193 Improving Animal Health, 195 Needs for Drug and Vaccine Development for Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 202 References, 204 7 EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TO MEET LOCAL ENERGY NEEDS 211 The Role of Energy in Catalyzing Growth and Poverty Reduction, 211 Insufficiency of Electric-Power Grids, 212 Status of Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects, 213 Local Electricity Generation, 215 References, 229 8 PRIORITIES FOR EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES 233 Evaluating Technologies in a Broad Context, 233 Criteria for Technology Evaluation, 236 Conclusions and Recommendations, 237 Discussion of Tier I and Tier II Techniques, 239 Final Thoughts: Building Local Capacity, 244 Conclusion, 245 References, 247 APPENDIXES A Committee Statement of Task 251 B Biographic Sketches of Committee Members 253 C Responses from Sub-Saharan African and South Asian Scientists 259 D Contributors 263 E Recent Publications of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources 267 TABLES ES-1 Priority Technologies and Applications for Improving Agriculture, 2 S-1 Priority Technologies and Applications for Improving Agriculture, 11 2-1 Cereal and Legume Yields in 2005, 35 2-2 Irrigated Areas in South Asia, 39 2-3 Regional Potential for Increasing Crop Water Productivity, 40

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contents xvi 3-1 Economic Impact Analysis of Current Biocontrol Projects in Africa, 107 4-1 Total Water Withdrawal by Volume and as Percentage of Renewable Water, 127 7-1 Comparison of Lipid Production by Oil Crops and Microbes, 227 8-1 Priority Tools and Technologies to Improve Agriculture in Sub- Saharan Africa and South Asia, 238 FIGURES 1-1 Distribution of undernourished people, 24 2-1 Major food crops of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, 32 2-2 Changes in cereal production, 1961-2001, in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, 36 2-3 Areas in red are where current population exceeds agricultural capacity because of severe soil degradation and nutrient mining, 38 2-4 Tropical livestock unit density in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 53 4-1 Major rivers of Africa, 124 4-2 The South Asia region showing the approximate boundary line at which rainfall or soil moisture is adequate to support a 90-day-long growing period for crops, 125 4-3 Rainfall and growth in gross domestic product in Ethiopia, 1982- 2000, 127 4-4 Schematic of NOAH land surface model, 140 5-1 Soil-degradation-induced poverty, starvation, and political, ethnic, and social unrest are linked, 147 6-1 Digestibility and crude protein content of tropical grasses (fertilized and unfertilized) and legumes and their adequacy in meeting maintenance requirements of ruminants, 183 7-1 Schematic of a Stirling engine, 218

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contents xvii BOXES S-1 Criteria for Evaluating Technologies, 10 S-2 Technologies Examined in the Study, 20 1-1 The Most Serious Agricultural Constraints in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia: Perspectives from Scientists in Those Regions, 27 2-1 Agriculture and Malnutrition, 34 2-2 Overcoming Barriers to the Use of Genetically Engineered Crops, 46 2-3 Meeting International Food Safety Standards, 52 2-4 Zoonotic Diseases, 58 3-1 Examples of Traits Targeted for Improvement, 72 3-2 Molecular Breeding and Transgenic Approaches Can Be Combined to Offer New Approaches to Crop Improvement, 77 3-3 Nontransgenic Herbicide Resistance in Maize for Striga Control, 78 3-4 Understanding Lignin Synthesis for Improving Tropical Forage, 86 3-5 Directed Evolution of Genes, 89 3-6 Opportunities to Control Weeds in SSA and SA Through Engineered Herbicide Resistance, 90 3-7 Engineering Plant Pathways to Decrease Postharvest Losses and Degrade Mycotoxins, 91 3-8 Opportunities to Apply RNAi to Agricultural Constraints in SSA and SA, 94 3-9 Disrupting Plant-Virus Replication, 96 3-10 Potential Transgenic Approaches to Protect Sorghum Against Birds, 97 3-11 An Inducible Suicide Gene for Weed Control?, 103 4-1 Nanomaterials for Water Purification, 133 4-2 Cloud Seeding Experiments, 136 5-1 Established Management Practices to Maintain Soil Productivity, 148 5-2 Carbon Sequestration: A Possible Opportunity for Resource- Limited Farmers, 150 5-3 Examples of Organisms Inoculated onto Crop Roots That Increased Yield or Growth, 159 5-4 Genera of Root Endophytic Bacteria That Can Fix Nitrogen, 162 5-5 Major Research and Technology Needs for Manipulating Microbes in the Rhizosphere, 166

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contents xviii 6-1 Environmental Effects of Livestock Production, 179 6-2 Animal Production in Extensive Rangeland Systems, 180 6-3 Food Processing and Production, 182 6-4 Rumen Function, Fiber Digestion, and Metagenomics, 184 6-5 Genetic Improvement of Fish for Aquaculture, 186 6-6 Engineering Chitinase as an Insecticide, 190 6-7 RNAi Technology to Resist Bluetongue Virus, 191 6-8 Biosensors for Rapid Diagnosis, 201 7-1 Stirling Engine, 217 7-2 Breeding for Biofuels and Forage, 224 8-1 Criteria for Evaluating Technologies, 237 8-2 Bringing Talent to the Challenges of Agriculture, 246 C-1 Letter Inviting Comment About the Most Serious Constraints on Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 260

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Abbreviations and Acronyms ACC 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate ACMD African cassava mosaic disease AGRA Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa AI artificial insemination AMSR-E Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System BSE bovine spongiform encephalopathy Bt Bacillus thuringiensis CCDs charge-coupled devices cDNA complementary DNA CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research CMV cucumber mosaic disease CS circumsporozoite protein DOE U.S. Department of Energy ELISA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ET embryo transfer FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations GDP gross domestic product GRACE Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment xix

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abbreviations acronyms xx and GW gigawatt HHMI Howard Hughes Medical Institute IAC InterAcademy Council IARCs International Agricultural Research Centres ICSI intracytoplasmic sperm injection IG Indo-Gangetic IT information technology IWMI International Water Management Institute LSM NOAH Land Surface Model MODIS moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer MSV maize streak virus MudPIT multidimensional protein identification technology MUS managed underground storage MW megawatt MWCNs multiwall carbon nanotubes NDVI Normalized Difference Vegetation Index NPK nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium NRC National Research Council PASS Program for Africa’s Seed System PCD programmed cell death PCR polymerase chain reaction PIPRA Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture PV photovoltaic QTL quantitative trait loci RNAi RNA interference RVF Rift Valley fever RYMV rice yellow mottle virus SA South Asia SDI subsurface drip irrigation shRNA short double-stranded RNA SNPs single nucleotide polymorphisms SOC soil organic carbon SSA sub-Saharan Africa

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abbreviations acronyms xxi and SSC spermatogonial stem cell ssDNA single-stranded DNA TILLING targeting induced local lesions in genomes TLU tropical livestock unit TRMM Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission TW terawatt vCJD variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ZFNs zinc finger nucleases

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