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Farming in transition: How smallholder farms in the Mekong could thrive amid a changing landscape

In the continuing journey to identify what makes smallholder farming systems in the Mekong sustainable and resilient, the Hands and Minds project finds out a number of things: (1) livestock intensification could be done in a way that could both increase profitability and reduce labor demands; (2) smallholders could be farming increasingly infertile soils, and this can be reversed by adopting management practices that efficiently manage nutrients from various sources in the farm; (3) the interaction between farmer and extension worker is crucial in enabling farmers adopt eco-resilient practices.

BMS – A key system for CIAT breeders

Last April, a BMS (Breeding Management System) workshop was held, as a joint effort among Cécile Grenier (researcher at CIAT’s Rice Program), representatives from the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP), and CIAT’s Data and Research Methods team.

BioTerra: The new biodiversity monitoring system being developed by USAID Natural Wealth Program

BioTerra es un sistema innovador de monitoreo de la biodiversidad y sus amenazas desarrollado por el Programa Riqueza Natural de la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID), y sus socios locales—el Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) y el Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt—para apoyar al gobierno colombiano en el cumplimiento de las metas y compromisos de conservación de la biodiversidad. Este sistema busca complementar y aunar esfuerzos existentes de monitoreo de la biodiversidad y sus amenazas, a nivel nacional y regional.

Learning more about soil ecology

Last April, the Soils and Landscapes for Sustainability Research Area at CIAT, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota (UMN) and the National University of Colombia at Palmira, held a training course entitled “Soil Ecology: Methodologies for the Assessment of Agroecosystems”.

Agriculture across borders

CATAS and CIAT Asia researchers held a 3-day joint workshop in April to prioritize key research areas, co-develop project concepts, and identify target funding sources. In the end, the new CATAS-CIAT cooperation portfolio came to include proposed projects on: 1) tropical crops such as cassava, forages, coffee, and tropical fruits; 2) sustainable farming systems including the role of microorganisms in enhancing productivity; 3) data-driven agronomy for sustainable agri-food systems; and 4) understanding consumer preferences for quality-traits to guide crop improvement and product development for tropical fruits.

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