Efforts intensify to decode cassava “alphabet soup”

12 February, 2013 by (comments)

Imagine having to write a story, using a pile of several billion letters. First the letters have to be arranged into words, the words into sentences and paragraphs to produce a coherent, accurate chapter. There are 18,000 chapters in each book, and 5,000 books make the full story. The story is the complete genetic history of cassava. Making biologicalRead More …

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Filed Under: Cassava @en, Crop diversity, Crops @en, Crops website

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

Climate Change: new study opens can of worms for ecologists

5 February, 2013 by (comments)

We often hear about livestock being a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions – picture them, formidable herds of flatulent quadrupeds munching their way – figuratively speaking – through millions of hectares of rainforest. But it seems we need to look below the surface, literally, to find another climate change culprit: earthworms. That’s because a new study just publishedRead More …

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Filed Under: Climate Change, Soils, Soils website

Climbing beans reach new heights in Rwanda

29 January, 2013 by (comments)

Already one of the most densely populated countries in the world, the United Nations predicts that Rwanda’s population of around 11 million people is set to nearly quadruple by the turn of the century. An Upward Spiral – the story of climbing beans in Rwanda from CIAT Colombia on Vimeo. With a pressing need to sustainably boost food productionRead More …

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

New journal launched: Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales

21 December, 2012 by (comments)

A new peer-reviewed, scientific journal dedicated entirely to tropical pastures and forages has just been launched as an initiative of scientists from Australia and CIAT. Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales will be an open-access, online journal, featuring articles in English and Spanish. It will be published three times-a-year, and the submission, review and publication of articles will be free-of-charge.Read More …

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Filed Under: Africa @en, Asia @en, Crops @en, Latin America and the Caribbean, Tropical Forages

Punjab on fire – in pictures

12 December, 2012 by (comments)

India’s rice-wheat system feeds a lot of people – and I mean a lot. But the widespread burning of crop residues after the rice harvest is causing all manner of problems, from the release of huge quantities of greenhouse gases and toxins to declining soil fertility. The system desperately needs to become more sustainable. We covered the story hereRead More …

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Filed Under: Asia @en, CIAT in the media, Climate Change, Climate Change website

Culture of resistance: could friendly fungi offer a helping hand to beans and cassava?

2 November, 2012 by (comments)

Friendly fungi could be the new secret weapon for boosting the resilience of beans and cassava to pest attacks. Scientists at CIAT and the US Department of Agriculture hope to fight the seed-drilling bean weevil and dreaded, sap-sucking cassava mealybug by introducing a particular strain of fungus to live inside the crops. Fungi have long been used in organicRead More …

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Filed Under: Beans @en, Cassava @en, Crops @en, Crops website