Food from Dry Lands: An Integrated Approach to Planning of Agricultural Development
van Keulen, H.
de Wit, C. T.
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The book centers on an analysis of the options for the agronomic development of semiarid regions with winter rains (i.e. Mediterranean regions). Data obtained in the northern Negev desert in Israel serve as a starting point. On the basis of these data, crop and sheep husbandry systems were designed and integrated into agro-pastoral systems in which small-grain crops act as a buffer for feed production. These systems served as a basis for rational planning of regional agricultural development under alternative development objectives. In analyzing the possibilities, a three-step approach was developed: first the feasibility and robustness of selected innovative techniques at the farm level were investigated in relation to variability in weather and prices, then a matrix of production techniques for a region was formulated in terms of their physical inputs and outputs, and finally, this matrix was embedded into a dynamic multiple-goal linear programming model. In comparing the results for different goals, the consequences for goal achievement and desired production techniques can be made explicit, and in this way the book can be a guide for actual development planning in semiarid regions.