Soils and Landscapes
Subnational climate-smart agriculture (CSA) action planning: Lessons learned with Veronica Ndetu, head of the Climate Change Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture
Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is the proposed approach in the face of climate variability. The government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is playing an active role in advocating for the uptake of CSA both nationally and subnationally.
Going forward, the UM6P and the Alliance between Bioversity International and CIAT will work to initiate cooperation in research, education, and outreach with the aim of contributing to the advancement of science to address the challenges of sustainable agricultural intensification globally.
The outcomes will nurture new CIAT collaborations in Brazil and help us jointly build a biodiversity monitoring approach that can meet both CIAT’s and USAID’s objectives. Furthermore, the approach will be useful for other institutions specialized in biodiversity monitoring, as well as for the private sector as a way to evaluate the performance of their activities in the Amazon region. In fact, such a tool can benefit all sectors of society engaged in the difficult task of balancing the trade-offs between development and environmental conservation.
The idea of visualizing soil data at a glance electronically is exciting to many actors in agriculture and land-use planning. Previously, soil characterization required traveling to the field to collect soil samples and sending them to the lab for analysis. Digital maps, however, save the time (travel, carry soils samples to the lab and wait for results) before making crucial site-specific decisions.
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
Marcela Quintero is one of the most prestigious researchers on environmental and agricultural issues at CIAT. She began her work as a member of a small team that started thinking how to internalize the environmental externalities in water basins. The work on Payment for Environmental Services stemmed from there, a pretty “odd” topic for the Center 18 years ago.
The Analytical Services Laboratory (LSA, its Spanish initials), which is part of the Agroecosystems and Sustainable Landscapes (ASL) area at CIAT, was listed as eligible for funding to participate in Proficiency Tests carried out by the Colombian National Metrology Institute (INM).
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, 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”.