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.
One of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change is learning to get out of its straitjacket and explore its futures, although it still does not know them well.
CIAT held a workshop as part of the work on livestock production and environment funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), to reinforce knowledge on Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) on the livestock sector in Colombia, which includes silvopastoral systems.
When Christian came to CIAT in 2010, he had no intention to stay. All he wanted, was to find out what climate change would do to tropical perennial crops and nobody seemed to have a good answer but CIAT’s DAPA research area had just published some innovative ideas how the problem could be addressed.
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.
CIAT’s Sustainable Food Systems Program (SFS), with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), has been supporting the Municipal Agriculture Secretariat of Palmira (Valle del Cauca Department in Colombia) in identifying strategies to strengthen the activities developed by their Committee on Food and Nutritional Security. The Committee aims to establish a roadmap to identify priorities, as well as to design and implement their Food and Nutritional Security Plan.
CIAT, along with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and local implementing partner the Amazon Conservation Team (ECAM), is contributing to the collective establishment of the Quilombola Fund. A fund conceived following a commitment by the mining company Mineraçӑo Rio Norte, whose activities take place in the Quilombola territory, to actively engage in compensation mechanisms for local communities.
The changing climate and the need to feed a growing world population is putting significant strains on food production systems globally and solutions are required to enhance agricultural production in a sustainable way. By addressing the water needs and heat tolerance of crops as well as the impact of livestock grazing, the partnerships will address this challenge.
Tim Willis, BBSRC Associate Director International, said: “This important research will benefit poor farmers in Latin America, providing evidence-based approaches to manage livestock, protect biodiversity and reduce the pressure on freshwater supplies”.
Since June, 2018, Mayesse Da Silva, Soil Scientist at CIAT, has been working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and USDA-FAS on the characterization and detailed mapping of cacao soils in Colombia under the “Cacao for Peace (CfP)” program.