Time to break free from the ‘yield gap trap’

19 May, 2014 by (comments)

When we see a gap, be it physically in front of us or figuratively speaking, we are compelled to find a way to mind it, to fill it, to close it. When we talk about the yield gap – the difference between actual crop yields and those potentially attainable in a given region – in the agricultural research andRead More …

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Filed Under: Soils, Soils website

Breaking new ground – mapping soil in Africa

30 July, 2013 by (comments)

In 2009, a group of scientists in Africa embarked on the Africa Soil Information System (AfSIS) project. Their goal: to fill a gap that has hampered scientific progress and agricultural and economic development in Africa for years – detailed information about African soils. Four years, more than 350 partners and 17,000 soil samples later, they’ve done just that –Read More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Soils, Soils website

Livestock on the Plus Side for a Change

18 June, 2012 by (comments)

While many experts believe that livestock belong decidedly on the minus side of any environmental equation – given, for example, the role of expanding cattle production as a driver of deforestation in the Amazon – a group of experts in animal feeding argued today for a major revision of conventional calculations about the size of livestock’s ecological “hoofprint.” GatheredRead More …

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Filed Under: Climate Change, Crops @en, Inside CIAT, Tropical Forages

War for food, war for space – the future for Central Africa?

25 October, 2011 by (comments)

When you fly into the Rwandan capital Kigali, one thing is abundantly clear: land is in short supply. Is seems as though every inch of this hilly country is under cultivation. So it is with some justification that some experts are concerned that Rwanda and neighbouring Burundi could be the epicentre of a population time-bomb. Small and landlocked, withRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Agro-ecology and Economics @en, Regions

Sustainable intensification transforms landscapes and livelihoods – in one year

28 April, 2011 by (comments)

It could be the Holy Grail of eco-efficient agriculture – the sustainable transformation of arid land incapable of supporting food production, into green oases of rice, beans, and maize… …in just one year. Recent water harvesting pilot projects in Nicaragua have done just this. Coordinated by The Latin American Fund for Irrigated Rice (FLAR), based at CIAT‘s headquarters inRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en, Latin America and the Caribbean, Regions

FAO encourages sustainable agriculture to ease pressure on food prices

31 January, 2011 by (comments)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has released a guide advising countries on ways to manage the impact of high food prices. It also urges a long-term approach to price management, including the “sustainable intensification” of agricultural production to increase productivity and a country’s resilience to international food price hikes. This includes the promotion of community seedRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en

“Sustainable intensification” – what is it?

26 January, 2011 by (comments)

Well, according to UK chief scientific adviser John Beddington, it is the only way we’re going to significantly increase the amount of food produced on the same amount of farmland to meet the challenges of a booming world population. Beddington oversaw the Foresight think-tank’s Global Food and Farming Futures report, which we blogged about yesterday, and which calls forRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en