Getting ahead of the trends in global diets

28 November, 2014 by (comments)

In agricultural research, time-frames are long and funding often short, so getting the priorities right is crucial. Scientific organizations must be doubly sure they’re focused on tomorrow’s challenges and not yesterday’s, if they expect to remain relevant and effective. This is the spirit in which CIAT’s Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA) Research Area has prepared a new policy brief examiningRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en, Climate Change, Crop diversity, Crops @en

An African grass comes home for good – Part 2: Biodiversity to the rescue

23 October, 2014 by (comments)

Of all the efforts now underway to incorporate improved Brachiaria grass into Africa’s mixed farming (see part 1 in this blog series), the biggest and most successful was prompted less by its well-known value as livestock feed and more by another important role for the grass that CIAT scientists never imagined. This and other experiences with Brachiaria are summarizedRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Crop diversity, Crops @en, Regions, Tropical Forages

An African grass comes home for good – Part 1: Adding value to biodiversity

23 October, 2014 by (comments)

Ask any non-African what they usually associate with this continent – at least when a crisis like the current Ebola outbreak isn’t capturing everyone’s attention – and they’re likely to mention Africa’s spectacular big game. But what if someone were to make the case that a far less charismatic slice of Africa’s biological diversity – particularly an un-photogenic forageRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Crop diversity, Crops @en, Regions, Tropical Forages

Open data’s contribution to better research for development: The example of RTBMaps

20 October, 2014 by (comments)

RTBMaps is a flagship online atlas developed by the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) that provides all sorts of geographic information on RTB crops worldwide for the benefit of the research and development community. RTBMaps aggregates individual maps provided by researchers and scientists around the world through “scientific crowdsourcing”, hence compiling a wealth of criticalRead More …

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Filed Under: Cassava @en, Crop diversity

Visualizing evolving global diets: National Geographic puts CIAT’s data into an interactive graphic

1 September, 2014 by (comments)

Earlier this year, CIAT published a study in PNAS, which addresses the increasing homogeneity of global food supplies and the implications for food security. It revealed that diets worldwide have become more similar by an average of 36% in the last 50 years. According to the study, global food systems rely increasingly on just a few crops – inRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en, Climate Change, Crop diversity, Crops @en

Will the pursuit of food security weaken the resilience of global food systems?

16 May, 2014 by (comments)

Fifty years ago palm oil was virtually non-existent in the Colombian diet. Now over 25% of the fat in national food supplies comes from the crop, making it the single most important plant for the provision of this macronutrient in the diet. Intercropped maize and oil palm in Colombia. Photo: CIMMYT Along with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Nigeria, ColombiaRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en, Beans @en, Cassava @en, Climate Change, Crop diversity, Crops website, Rice @en

Agricultural research to prioritise nutrition

2 April, 2014 by (comments)

The role of agriculture isn’t just to feed us enough, it is to feed us well. This week the CGIAR Consortium placed the weight of its agricultural research expertise behind efforts to improve global nutrition and public health as it committed to make breeding for mineral and vitamin traits the norm in conventional food crop development programs. Frank Rijsberman,Read More …

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Filed Under: Beans @en, Cassava @en, Crop diversity, Crops website, Gender, Regions