‘Save and Grow in practice: maize, rice, wheat : A guide to sustainable cereal production’; a publication by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) illustrates how the world's major cereals maize, rice and wheat can be grown in ways that respect and even leverage natural ecosystems. According to FAO, maize, rice and wheat are not only fundamental to world food security but also account for an estimated 42.5 percent of human calories and 37 percent of our protein.
The guide released in January 2016 illustrates how the "Save and Grow" approach to agriculture advocated by FAO is already being successfully employed to produce staple grains, pointing the way to a more sustainable future for farming and offering practical guidance on how the world can pursue its new sustainable development agenda.
With examples from Africa, Asia and Latin America, it shows how ecosystem-based farming systems are helping smallholder farmers to boost cereal yields, strengthen their livelihoods, reduce pressure on the environment, and build resilience to climate change.
In addition, the guide presents examples of Save and Grow farming systems that are producing more grain per hectare and generating significant social, economic and environmental benefits. It shows how Save and Grow practices helped restore production in wheat-growing regions of India and Kazakhstan, where Green Revolution technologies had faltered, and raised the productivity of low-input maize systems practised by farmers in Central America and East Africa.
The guide will be a valuable reference for policymakers and development practitioners during the global transition to sustainable food and agriculture.