Mineral fertiliser is the key to unlocking Africa’s agricultural potential

3 July, 2013 by (comments)

What is the answer to increasing fertiliser use in Africa? It’s a question many have asked for decades, yet, despite a myriad of meetings, programmes, movements and initiatives, the vast majority of efforts to increase fertiliser use among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa have failed to make a noticeable impact. But, argues Rolf Sommer, CIAT soil scientist and leadRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Soils, Soils website

“Game changing technologies” needed to fight cassava diseases

9 June, 2013 by (comments)

Alarming outbreaks of two devastating cassava diseases in Africa have prompted an alliance of experts to make an unprecedented international commitment to tackle them. Members of the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) announced plans for the sweeping set of measures to impede the spread of the flesh-eating cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) and cassava mosaic diseaseRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Asia @en, Cassava @en, Crop diversity, Crops website, Latin America and the Caribbean

If chocolate is doomed, are we too?

4 June, 2013 by (comments)

If you had to name a crop that was absolutely essential to human survival you probably wouldn’t say cocoa straight off the bat. But the crop that’s the main raw ingredient in chocolate is one we should all be paying close attention to – and here’s why. Back in September 2011 CIAT scientists produced a report on the likelyRead More …

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

Flesh-eating cassava virus pushes west across Africa

6 May, 2013 by (comments)

Scientists are struggling to contain a flesh-eating virus sweeping across the cassava plantations of Africa, destined for the world’s biggest producer and consumer, Nigeria. The devastating epidemic of Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) has already made it halfway across the continent, with reports of new outbreaks in DR Congo – the world’s third largest producer – and Angola, whereRead More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Cassava @en, Climate Change, Climate Change website, Crop diversity, Inside CIAT

Cassava as you’ve never seen it

22 February, 2013 by (comments)

When I heard that CIAT cassava breeder Hernan Ceballos had some “very strange” cassava to show us, I didn’t waste any time in calling to clarify what he meant. He gave little away: “you have to see it.” Very soon we were in one of CIAT’s vast fields of experimental cassava. I wondered what exactly we’d find: cassava rootsRead More …

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Filed Under: Cassava @en, Crops website

Eye in the sky: Terra-i keeps track of deforestation

14 February, 2013 by (comments)

The recent launch of Terra-i, a near real-time deforestation monitoring system for Latin America, brings the hotspots of forest loss into sharp focus. Based on satellite information from NASA, Terra-i can zoom-in on the region’s forests to a resolution of 250m x 250m. It’s smart enough to distinguish between natural losses and those caused by human activity – andRead More …

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Filed Under: Latin America and the Caribbean, Regions

Grain legumes come out of the shadows with major research programme

12 February, 2013 by (comments)

A new multi-million dollar research programme aims to improve the livelihoods of up to 1 billion people by boosting the productivity of some of the most important – but long-neglected – smallholder food crops. Grain Legumes – one of the 16 multi-partner CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) – will develop new varieties of chickpea, common bean, groundnut, lentil, soybean, pigeonRead More …

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Filed Under: Beans @en, Crops @en