In the five years that have passed since CIAT’s current strategy (2014–2020)1 was prepared, we have embraced new initiatives such as sustainable food systems, big data, and land restoration. We have also incorporated into our agenda the mandates of the UN Sustainable Development Goals2 and the Paris Agreement on climate change while maintaining our focus on impact at global, regional, national, and
A mobile phone application that receives data from farmers is being piloted in Vietnam. Data coming from each farm will be entered as a quick response – QR – product code, which can relay to consumers, at point-of-sale, some information regarding the product’s environmental footprint. It’s a win-win-win situation: consumers get full product traceability, farmers receive agronomic advice based on what they enter into the app, and researchers obtain access to important data which can help them develop insights that can inform policy and decisionmaking.
The Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) formally launched an Asia-Pacific partnership workplan at a forum hosted by FAO’s Regional Office in Bangkok on July 12th. Through this partnership, FAO and CIAT envision to contribute to Asia-Pacific countries’ achievement of SDGs including those for: zero hunger (SDG 2), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), climate action (SDG 13), and life on land (SDG 15).
Threat of cassava mosaic disease, strengthening resilience to climate disasters, dominate conversations between CIAT and Vietnam agricultural institutions
Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) officially renewed this week their scientific cooperation in agriculture and rural development, in a signing ceremony held at the Ministry’s national headquarters in Hanoi. The MOU marks the expansion of the MARD-CIAT collaborative agenda that will now seek to: increase crop and livestock productivity, improve quality of food and nutrition among Vietnamese food producers and consumers, improve management of the country’s natural resources, and to strengthen resilience of Vietnamese farmers, including against climate-induced natural disasters.
How do you measure public-private partnership schemes’ impacts to the society and environment? To answer this question, researchers from CIAT and the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) Research Program used the social return on investment (SROI) analysis, an appraisal and evaluation methodology that captures financial, social and environmental outcomes by using indicators and proxies to go beyond the standard financial measurement.
Nguyen Thi Hoan, a farmer in Vietnam, reaps the rewards of improved sweetpotato farming practices.
The Global Cassava Partnerships for the 21st Century (GCP21) has called for urgent regional approach to halt the spread of cassava mosaic disease (CMD) that is threatening cassava production in Southeast Asia—a region that accounts for about 55 million tons of cassava and host billions of dollars in cassava investment. The GCP21 is rallying stakeholders in Southeast Asia to come together to address the challenge posed by CMD. A regional meeting will soon be held with a view to developing a detailed plan of action and collaboration on interventions needed, in order to prevent the disease from negatively impacting the vibrant cassava industry in the region.
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.
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.
Officially unveiled today, our annual report, “Building a Sustainable Food Future: CIAT in Review 2017-2018,” features our primary actions and achievements over the past year. In addition to highlighting many of the pioneering efforts we have launched, the report examines future directions for years to come.
About CIAT in Asia
Despite the economic miracle that Southeast and East Asia has experienced over the last four decades, a significant proportion of the population living in rural areas and relying on agriculture remain poor. The economic crisis that hit Southeast Asia in the mid-1990s demonstrated the importance of a rural base for much of the population and prompted a much-needed renewal of commitment to improve the conditions of smallholder farmers.
The newly established Common Platform on Microbial Biotechnologies (CPMB) in Hanoi, Vietnam, is investigating the role of soil biota in sustainable cropping systems, and promoting agroecology in the region.