COVID-19 highlights the need for food systems-based policies for reducing tropical deforestation
Deforestation has many drivers but one is often overlooked: food consumption in cities that increases demand for products produced on deforested land. To be successful, tropical countries’ zero-deforestation policies need to address changing urban food demands
International analytics award goes to CGIAR centers for sustainable agriculture tools
The 2020 Innovative Applications in Analytics Award (IAAA) was awarded to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Their tools, which help farmers to increase productivity, use more sustainable practices and access markets, topped bids from international technology companies and universities with projects applied to various fields.
Distributing high-iron and zinc bean varieties to women farmers during COVID-19
In an act of solidarity, seeds awarded as an incentive to smallholders are shared with other women farmers unable to purchase seed during the pandemic.
Caring for the seeds of the future during the quarantine
Making sure that the collections of beans, cassava, bananas, and forages remain alive, even during the quarantine, is an essential job of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT in order to preserve the world’s biodiversity and food safety. From its work sites in laboratories, greenhouses, and experimental fields in Palmira, Colombia, and at the University of Louvain, in Belgium, Mónica, Melissa, Madelyn, Ramiro, Javier, Jair, Wilmer, Vincent, and Bart tell us about their experience in which they take on with equal responsibility the preventive measures established by the health authorities of their countries and those of our own organization. Their mission during the confinement is to safeguard the patrimony of more than 150 nations of the world that have entrusted the Alliance with one of their most precious treasures, their seeds.
Validating Wellbeing in the Brazilian Amazon
Deep in the Brazilian Amazon, around 290 quilombolas (Afro-Brazilian communities) and small groups of people living along the river side (hereafter riverine communities) in the Oriximiná municipality, located in the state of Pará, joined a series of meetings with the purpose of validating the results of the previously applied “Social Progress Index” (SPI).
With 30,000 surveys, researchers build the go-to dataset for smallholder farms
Farmer input is essential to tackling global challenges of climate change, rural poverty and nutrition. A new data collection tool aims to build the biggest open-access dataset of its kind for development and research
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.
Director, Agrobiodiversity Research Area
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.