Globally the area of sugarcane is rising in response to growing demand for bioethanol and for sugar for domestic consumption due to increased prosperity. In some countries, these changes are happening through conversion of existing agricultural land used for subsistence; whilst in other areas there has been extensive displacement of native vegetation for new cane cultivation. In both cases, this trend towards large-scale industrial mono-cropping is likely to have major impacts on land-use, agro-ecology, food security and ecosystem services. There are concerns regarding the impact of climate change on land use and food security with rainfall variability putting increased pressure on yields; it is also likely to create greater uncertainty on the viability of rainfed cane production and thus increase water demand for irrigation.
THESIS aims to launch an international programme to foster trans-disciplinary science, networking and community building. The emphasis will be on understanding the hydro-social and environmental impacts, benefits and trade-offs that arise through the continued expansion of cane production, and its broader consequences in global food security.
The project will focus on Brazil, India and South Africa, where agriculture is an important cornerstone of the economy, a basis of economic growth and a significant source of livelihood.
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.