Smallholder poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is often linked to sandy soils, which hold little water and are low in nutrients. A new technology may be able to enrich fields and farmers without massive investments in irrigation and fertilizer
Does Brachiaria stand a chance in smallholder dairy dominated by productive Napier grass in eastern Africa?
Smallholder dairy farming continues to thrive in rural and peri-urban households in East Africa. Thanks to the tangible wins, farmers have derived over time milk, manure, and financial income, among other benefits. However, feeding the animals is akin to Napier grass, courtesy for its high biomass production and withstanding frequent cutting.
Florence Makokha did not have a head start in life: she was married off at an early age and was not able to finish her formal education. Today, Florence is not only one of the flourishing farmers in her village but she is also a proud farmer peer educator.
Conservation agriculture: enhancing soil fauna richness and abundance in low-input systems: Examples from Kenya
Over the years, many discussions on the benefits of conservation agriculture vis-à-vis conventional tillage have been held. These have mainly focused on the associated soil physical and chemical benefits. However, on most occasions, little attention has focused on the benefits of practicing conservation agriculture for soil health. Indeed, for the myriad soil benefits and even improvements in crop yield, there is often a direct or indirect association with the activities of soil biological organisms and, generally, soil health.
CIAT was at the NaneNane festival held in Thermi Show Ground Arusha Tanzania to showcase their Mbili Mbili technology. NaneNane, a Swahili name meaning “eight”, is an annual farmers’ festival held during the first eight days of August by the national government in collaboration with other actors in the agricultural sector.
International Youth Day (IYD) an initiative by the United Nations, is commemorated yearly on 12 August to bring to the fore the youth’s pivotal role in accelerating progress towards global goals. In addition, the day is also meant to draw the attention of stakeholders and leaders to the pertinent challenges faced by the world’s youth. As highlighted by UNESCO, one of the issues that deserves due concern is the need for the education system to prepare learners to meet the challenges of the present and to help them maximize the opportunities of the future.
“We are receiving a free subsidy from nature, but it will not continue indefinitely” – Louis Verchot
“Many findings are important for us and for policy makers around the world. The report shows that land is both a source and a sink of greenhouse gases. Currently, land absorbs 22% of our greenhouse gas emissions and such absorption has increased as our emissions have increased. Therefore, we are receiving a free subsidy from nature as the land is reducing the negative climate impacts of our own actions. The report also shows that this subsidy will not go on indefinitely, and the continuous land and soil degradation are major threats to the biosphere and the continued absorption of carbon dioxide.”
CIAT collaborates with CocoaLink to help young farmers mitigate the negative effects of climate change through digital maps. Get critical information on cocoa and agricultural tips by downloading CocoaLink mobile application.
The Terra-i tool enables stakeholders to use the data at different levels to take action in natural resource management and create synergies between national and local institutions for protecting and conserving natural resources, as well as enhancing related governance processes, at national and subnational scales.
As global population grows so will demand for animal protein (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving, 2009 ), making livestock farming intensification a central part to a sustainable food future. Breeding and mainstreaming of tropical forages are essential for improving productivity and lowering the environmental footprint while reducing the number of hectares dedicated to livestock production and the pressure over highly valuable ecosystems. This is a not only a priority in Latin America but in Africa and Asia as well, where the demand of forages with high nutritional quality and with resistance to different stresses is growing.
CIAT in Africa
CIAT’s vision of the promise of tropical agriculture is especially relevant to sub-Saharan Africa. Nowhere does the well-being of so many people depend so much on a concerted effort to realize farming’s potential for reducing chronic hunger, opening pathways out of rural poverty, enhancing human nutrition, and improving the management of natural resources. CIAT works especially on the following themes:
- Leveraging markets through improved productivity and competitiveness
- Agriculture for improved nutrition in Africa
- Transforming farms and landscapes for sustainability
- Investment planning for resilient agriculture