Modeling farming systems adaptation to Climate Change

Description of the topic

In recent years, several technological and policy options have been developed to build adaptable and resilient farming systems (Jat et al. 2016). In South Asia, conservation agriculture based practices for improved productivity and resilience, and more efficient use of water and nutrients, have been developed and tested at field level in different agro-ecologies (e.g. Jat et al. 2014).

The objective of this PhD is to assess the suitability and contribution of such practices, through quantitative farming systems analysis (QFSA), to the sustainability, adaptability and resilience of diverse cereal-based farming systems in South Asia.

CIMMYT, in collaboration with several national and international partners (ICAR-India, WUR, ILRI, CIRAD-France) is currently developing and applying several QFSA tools (Groot et al. 2012, Berre et al. 2016, Frelat et al. 2016, Kalawantawanit, 2016, Lopez-Ridaura et al. 2016) and the PhD research will contribute to their further development and scale application in the context of cereal-based systems in South Asia.

Quantitative farming systems analysis (QFSA) can provide useful tools to better fit options to diverse farming systems and assess (ex-post and ex-ante) the contribution of such options to their sustainability. QFSA also allows the exploration of different scenarios and pathways for adaptation of rural households as well as the quantitative analysis of main trade-offs and synergies emerging in promotion of specific alternatives.

Work expectations

The student will i) identify the most suitable models and tools to assess the contribution of conservation agriculture practices to the sustainability of farming systems in South Asia, ii) gather data through field measurements and farm surveys to parametrize the selected model(s) for specific sites and iii) develop additional modules/models to better represent processes related conservation agriculture and the resilience and adaptation of farming systems to climate change.

The student will, through the application of the QFSA tools, identify main recommendation domains for different technological options and understand the underpinning processes limiting the suitability of specific options to diverse farming systems.

The candidate will be based in the CIMMYT offices of New Delhi with short duration stays in i) field stations in India and ii) CIMMYT HQ in Mexico and Wageningen University in the Netherlands.


Agronomy – Farming Systems Analysis.

Theme: Conservation agriculture and nutrient management

Post-doc in collaboration with Wageningen University

Required skills

Quantitative systems analysis, modeling.

Duration: 24 months