A group of researchers from the University of Nebraska and Wageningen University are setting out to determine just that through the production of an atlas. The Global Yield Gap Atlas will use map-based evidence to reveal the “gap” between the current average yields of farms and their maximum production potential. In other words, it will show the difference between what the world’s farms currently produce and what they could produce. The Atlas will also document the world’s potential to use water more efficiently.
At a recent GYGA meeting in Naivasha, Kenya, Atlas collaborators—which include Jawoo Koo of IFPRI—comparatively reviewed two major crop distribution maps and announced that they would use the ones produced by an IFPRI model—the Spatial Production Allocation Model (SPAM)—as a basis for the Atlas.
Developed by Liang You, Stanley Wood, and Ulrike Wood-Sichra of the HarvestChoice team at IFPRI, this model produces highly detailed maps of crop distribution and performance by spatially disaggregating subnational statistics data on 10 km grids globally. The detailed spatial datasets represent a unique and rich platform for exploring the social, economic, and environmental consequences of agricultural production in a strategic policy context.
For the full article, visit the IFPRI website: http://www.ifpri.org/blog/global-atlas-determine-farmers-potential-grow-more-food