Agrobiodiversity

Regional research project seeks to promote the development of cacao to continue competing in the European market

The Latin American and Caribbean region (LAC) is the main producer of fine flavor cacao in the world. The contribution of LAC to the worldwide production of cacao, currently 17%, has nearly doubled in the last decade, taking advantage of the growth of global and regional demand for cacao by consumers. Cacao buyers obtain part of their supply from LAC to diversify and ensure their supply, forecasting the growing demand for fine flavor cacao in the world market and anticipating the negative impacts of climate change, among other factors, in West Africa, where most of the conventional cacao is currently produced.

Video: How Iron Beans Gained Ground in Rwanda

Mushimiyimana and her family are one of the more than 420,000 farming households in Rwanda who cultivate iron-biofortified bean that were developed by HarvestPlus, the Rwanda Agriculture Board, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and first released in the country in 2012. In just a few years since then, iron bean cultivation has expanded rapidly and currently accounts for 20 percent of all beans grown in Rwanda; more than 1.8 million Rwandans, or about 15 percent of the total population, were estimated to be eating these nutritious beans—and the market continues to grow.

Milking opportunity in the foothills of Mount Kenya

When Simon and Sylvia Kiruja started their farm three years ago, they never imagined it would get so big they would need a bigger plot. Their three cows used to bring them 7 litres of milk a day. Today, their 45 cows deliver more than 250 litres daily, contributing around US$1,700 monthly depending on the season, to the Kiruja’s income.

A wild bean’s genes may help a key crop thrive on a hotter Earth

The climate change point-of-no-return may still be 1 degree C away. But that is of little solace to the people whose lives have already been upended by a warmer climate. They include growers and consumers of one of the most important protein sources in low-income countries: the common bean, a staple in diets from the highlands of Central America to the vast expanses of sub-Saharan Africa.

About agrobiodiversity research at CIAT

CIAT develops more resilient and productive varieties of cassava and common bean, together with tropical forages for livestock. We also help improve rice production in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The superior crop varieties that result from our collaborative work offer many valuable traits, such as high yield and stress tolerance, which are vital for guaranteeing global food supplies in the face of rapidly rising demand, shifting disease and insect pressures, rampant environmental degradation, and the looming threat of climate change.

 

Contact

Joe Tohme

Joe Tohme

Director, Agrobiodiversity Research Area

j.tohme@cgiar.org

This CIAT Blog was launched in January 2016. For articles related to agrobiodiversity prior to this date, visit our former blog. Please note the old AgBio blog is no longer updated.

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