Asia

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.

Can direct benefits from PPP schemes trickle down beyond private business to the rest of society?

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.

GCP21 calls for regional approach to stem the outbreak of cassava mosaic disease in Southeast Asia

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.

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.

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.

Insights from the Nghia Tan Market

Vietnam is one of the priority countries for research of the CGIAR Reserch Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). As the country continues its transformation – from an impoverished, agrarian society into an urban-centered, low middle-income economy – so does the Vietnamese diet. A4NH researchers are trying to find ways to help ensure that the dietary shift and changes lean towards nutritious, safe, and affordable, for the food consumers and producers alike. The Nghia Tan market is a place that can offer important insights as to why the Vietnamese eat as they do, which could also help explain the incidence rates in certain diseases among the Vietnamese population.

Asia-Pacific countries identify priority action to build resilience of agriculture to natural disasters

At a session facilitated by CIAT at the FAO-organized Asia Pacific conference on strengthening resilient food and agriculture systems, participants emphasized the need for coherence in policies and investments across institutions, in order to effect a coordinated response towards reducing risk and strengthening resilience of crops against increasing frequency and severity of natural hazards.

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.

Contact

Dindo Campilan

Dindo Campilan

Regional Director

d.campilan@cgiar.org

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