Soils and Landscapes
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”.
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.
CIAT is proud! Jefferson Valencia, young scientist from the Agroecosystems and Sustainable Landscapes (ASL) area at CIAT, was awarded a Borlaug fellowship and will attend Purdue University in Indiana, United States, to pursue an internship to implement a hydrological assessment based on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to optimize cacao production in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia.
“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.”