Belmont Forum European Joint Collaborative Research: Hydro-social and envirnmental impacts of sugar cane production on land use and food security

Project: Research project

Project Details


Globally, the area of land for sugar cane production is rising in response to growing demands for bioethanol and increased sugar demands for domestic consumption due to increased prosperity and socio economic development. In some countries, these changes use are happening through conversion of existing agricultural land used for subsistence or low intensity cropping; whilst in other areas there has been extensive displacement of native lands for new cane cultivation. In both cases, this trend towards large-scale industrial mono-cropping is likely to have major impacts on agricultural land use, food security and ecosystem services. There are also concerns regarding the impact of climate change on land use and food security with rainfall variability putting increased pressure on crop yield; it is also likely to increase water demand for irrigated cane and exert greater uncertainty on the viability of rainfed cane production. The aim of this project is to launch an international programme to foster trans-disciplinary science, networking and community building. The focus will be on understanding the hydro-social and environmental impacts, benefits and trade-offs that arise through the continued global expansion of cane production, and its broader consequences for land use and food security. The project will focus on Brazil, India and South Africa, where agriculture is the cornerstone of their economy, the basis of economic growth and main source of livelihood. It is also a sector under pressure to improve resource efficiency and increase resilience to future climate uncertainty. The project will involve researchers from the UK, USA, India, Brazil, South Africa and Australia and will encourage trans-disciplinary dialogue to work towards an integrated assessment approach combining agronomic, climatic, environmental, and socio-economic knowledge. The consortium brings together expertise in agricultural systems, agronomy, land use modelling, climate science, social science, impact assessment, rural resource economics, GIS and remote sensing.
Effective start/end date8/15/147/31/17


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $28,419.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.