Costing the earth: who’s responsible?

17 November, 2014 by (comments)

Wielding a hammer, John Kabola steps back and surveys his day’s work. The quarry cut into the hills of Kenya’s Upper Tana watershed reveals deep layers of earth like a sliced cake. Quarry stones are in demand – the construction industry is thriving. That’s good news for Kabola, who has risen to quarry operator, investing his income in aRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Climate Change, Soils, Soils website

Clues to improving farm productivity one agronomic survey at a time

10 November, 2014 by (comments)

Another step forward in addressing the yield gap What are the low hanging fruit in reducing yield gaps and enhancing food security? Well it may not be fruit, per se, but basic techniques farmers can practice. A new CIAT-led publication presents an agronomic survey methodology which does just that – it presents a basket of options for boosting farmRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Regions, Soils

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

Feeding Rwanda’s livestock revolution

8 September, 2014 by (comments)

More than 200,000 Rwandan farmers have received free cows under the Rwandan Governments’ One cow per poor family programme since it was introduced in 2006. The move has kick-started small scale milk production, bringing new income streams for cash-strapped farmers, as well as providing manure to fertilise crops, and meat and milk for improved nutrition and food security. ButRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Tropical Forages

Mitigating climate change – every little bit helps

25 June, 2014 by (comments)

If only we could put a little bit of extra carbon into our soils – that could save the planet from overheating, or so the theory goes. After all, of all the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that are causing global temperatures to rise, and thus climate change, carbon dioxide (CO2) is by far the most important. Put carbonRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Climate Change, Regions, Soils, Soils website

New approach launched to fight malnutrition in Rwanda

29 April, 2014 by (comments)

Rwanda’s fight against malnutrition, which affects nearly half of all children under two, stepped up a notch this month. A new survey targeting children under 24 months and women of reproductive age will root out the underlying causes of undernutrition, leading to new approaches to tackle the problem. Commissioned by the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI),Read More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Beans @en, Gender