CIAT Blog

Science to Cultivate Change

The just-published journal article, On-farm diversity offsets environmental pressures in tropical agro-ecosystems: A synthetic review for cassava-based systems, concludes that intercropping cassava with maize, other crops belonging to the grass family, grain legumes, or trees, provides largely positive effects on various key ecosystem services, and can help strike a balance between farm-level productivity, crop resilience, and environmental health.
Author: Madelline Romero
Posted: October 20, 2017, 10:10 pm
The Amazon Vision Program, an initiative of the Colombian government, with the support of the Governments of Norway, United Kingdom and Germany, seeks to promote a new model of development in the Amazon that will improve the living conditions of its inhabitants through productive alternatives that do not cause deforestation to the already battered forest.
Author: Adriana Varón
Posted: October 19, 2017, 11:03 pm
The Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Country Profile (CP) initiative is a series of publications containing a brief yet comprehensive overview of the agricultural context and challenges in each country through a climate-smart agriculture lens, and provides a snapshot of the key issues, climate impacts, CSA practices, relevant policies, and financing opportunities for scaling up the […]
Author: Ivy Kinyua
Posted: October 18, 2017, 9:21 am
At the Borlaug Dialogues Dr. Mercy Lung'aho talks about the importance of feeding our youth nutritious food for a more prosperous Africa.
Author: Mercy Lungaho
Posted: October 18, 2017, 8:48 am
Women play an important role in rural agriculture. This International Day of Rural Women, we visit two farmers in Ethiopia who are transforming their rural livelihoods and making a difference in their communities.
Author: Georgina Smith
Posted: October 14, 2017, 12:49 am
Making the annual gathering work for my CIAT colleagues has been one of my motivations for many years. The collaboration with Maya Rajasekharan, CIAT’s Head of research management on what we call the APR has been mostly fruitful. This year however, we made a splash.   “This was the best APR ever” were the words that many chose to thank us.
Author: Simone Staiger
Posted: October 13, 2017, 4:43 am
CIAT scientists are working to improve cassava, rice, and beans using revolutionary "molecular scissors." in a bid to not only boost yields but also address human consumption issues.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: October 12, 2017, 5:30 pm
A CIAT and CCAFS project on climate services has been selected as one of the 2017 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: October 12, 2017, 3:29 pm
The first national theoretical-practical DNA barcoding workshop was carried out at CIAT with the objective of training researchers in the processing and analysis of biological samples in the Center’s molecular genetics and tissue culture laboratory. A total of 30 participants were in attendance, from 19 to 22 September, establishing research networks for preparing joint work projects.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: October 11, 2017, 9:33 pm
Agricultural scientists around the world need to share more data – it can save time, money and accelerate the pace of innovation
Author: Glenn Hyman
Posted: October 10, 2017, 9:53 pm
A consortium, including CIAT, is one step closer to reaching Ghana’s 800,000 cocoa producers to prevent what could be a threatening scenario for the industry in the coming decades.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: October 9, 2017, 4:15 pm
Author: Leroy Mwanzia
Posted: October 6, 2017, 6:17 pm
Dr. Julian Ramirez-Villegas, a Climate Impacts Scientist, discusses in-depth about a groundbreaking approach that can enable farmers to thrive in a changing climate.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: October 5, 2017, 11:23 pm
Dr. Augusto Castro and his research partners propose a model that sheds light on what may cause deforestation in Colombia to continue following the 2016 peace accord.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: October 5, 2017, 5:33 pm
Representatives from both public and private sectors lament that water-related challenges, including those that later affect the quality of coffee, are the biggest threats to Vietnam’s coffee industry, which fulfils approximately 40 percent of global Robusta demand. As if that weren’t bad enough, the industry is facing a new threat related to pests and diseases.
Author: Madelline Romero
Posted: September 29, 2017, 6:01 pm
CIAT and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have signed a three-year work plan, kicking off an expanded set of research and capacity building activities between the two organizations.
Author: Madelline Romero
Posted: September 29, 2017, 5:36 pm
Drought, pests and disease on the rise hit harvests in Zimbabwe
Author: Enid Katungi
Posted: September 29, 2017, 10:02 am
New research shows impressive productivity gains and use of improved bean varieties by farmers in Malawi.
Author: Enid Katungi
Posted: September 29, 2017, 9:54 am
More than 300 farmers, companies, extension agents and media attended a field day at the Agriculture Seed Agency (ASA) seed farm at Ngaramtoni in Arusha, Tanzania, to raise awareness among smallholder farmer about the value of planting improved bean varieties. Facilitated by the Pan-Africa Research Alliance (PABRA), farmers visited the multiplication farm to see several […]
Author: Jean Claude Rubyogo
Posted: September 29, 2017, 9:10 am
The team of CIAT’s genetic transformation platform won first prize in the poster session that was carried out at the sixth congress of the Seed Association of the Americas (SAA) in Cartagena, Colombia, from 5 to 7 September.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: September 26, 2017, 11:14 pm
A new roadmap outlining CIAT’s strategic vision for Africa 2017-2020 has been launched. The roadmap, online here, highlights the organization’s goal in the region: To promote more productive, profitable agriculture and healthier diets at no environmental cost by providing a scientific basis for development investments and policies. CIAT Director for Africa, Dr. Debisi Araba, said: […]
Author: Georgina Smith
Posted: September 26, 2017, 4:56 pm
CIAT has been celebrating its 50 years all year long in 2017 through various activities that have brought together partners, donors, retired Center staff, and current work teams. Along with the office in Managua (Nicaragua) next week (click here to see the agenda), that will make three regional events (Hanoi and Nairobi previously) which have been held this year. Now is the time to announce the celebrations in its main headquarters in Cali, Colombia, on 8 and 9 November.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: September 25, 2017, 5:28 pm
Some women in science are shattering the proverbial glass ceiling. The process, though, is slow and long.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: September 19, 2017, 9:01 pm
The CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture is hosting its first annual congress, taking place in Cali, Colombia, 19 to 22 September 2017.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: September 19, 2017, 12:26 am
Climate-smart farming practices are spreading to more communities in Northern Vietnam. A parallel action of engaging with people of authority, and working with communities, helps in dissemination.
Author: Madelline Romero
Posted: September 19, 2017, 12:18 am
With new, clean technologies that use solar energy and thus reduce the carbon footprint, CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, is inaugurating solar panels this coming November.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: September 14, 2017, 10:11 pm
By Debisi Araba, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)’s Director for Africa  The game of football, or soccer, as fans would agree, has evolved greatly over the last few decades. Approaches are more technical and goals are harder to come by. With improved athleticism and stamina, success in a game of football is determined, not […]
Author: Georgina Smith
Posted: September 14, 2017, 9:29 am
Ana Maria Loboguerrero Rodriguez, CCAFS Regional Program Leader for Latin America, explains what climate-smart villages are, and what makes them a unique model for improving the lives of smallholder farmers.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: September 13, 2017, 4:49 pm
The second annual meeting of the cassava program was held at CIAT last Wednesday, 30 August. For the first time, the entire Cassava team from Asia and CIATHQ met here to learn how the research projects are advancing.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: September 12, 2017, 9:17 pm
Climate change could reduce the suitability of lands for growing coffee in Latin America by as much as 88 percent by 2050, according to new research. Bees will take a hit too - but they could also be part of the solution
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: September 11, 2017, 9:29 pm
  • Transforming Landscape and Doubling Incomes

    Farmers actually wanted to own the new improved bean varieties; to be part of the success in seeing them spreading across the landscape. Gutsa Freeman, Principal Research Economist at the Harare Research Station. In Zimbabwe, nutritional deficiencies and chronic malnutrition persist in some areas. Yet while beans have the potential to diversify diets and boost nutrition, in areas

  • Village of Nutrition

    The “Village of Nutrition” is an initiative in Madagascar by PABRA and local partners to fight malnutrition. The initiative has two objectives: first, to improve the nutritional status of vulnerable groups, with a focus on pregnant women and nursing mothers; children under five years of age; and school children or unschooled children between six and 14 years

  • Building partnerships to fight nutrition

    In spite of its fragile state, Burundi saw much progress in nutrition in 2016. A strong partnership between the Ministry of Health (PRONIANUT) and the Ministry of Agriculture (ISABU) has led to 11 farmer cooperatives receiving training on how to produce nutritious bean flour for the market and household consumption. A community crèche has been set up

  • More nutritious flour for urban consumers and a better price for farmers

    When Tei Mukunya, Director of Azuri Health, prepared meals for her 112 year old grandmother, she had a realization. "It wasn’t easy to find a good range of nutritious, easily digestible foods that she liked. Most flour was made from  maize, and having a range of egetables and nutritious crops in flour wasn’t a possibility.  - Tei

  • Drought beating beans triple yields

    George Oketch Achola is a farmer on the banks of Lake Victoria, Western Kenya, earns 70 percent of his income from beans. He supplies Lasting Solutions Ltd. with improved bean varieties. He has more than tripled his production using new varieties, which he discovered through PABRA members including the local charity Caritas Internationalis.   "These new

  • Nutritious meals for cash-strapped and busy mothers launched in Kenya

    Fast-cooking beans and nutritious bean snacks have hit supermarket shelves in Western Kenya. The products target women who may need to prepare meals in a short period of time for the whole family.  The fast-cooking beans have been pre-cooked, and only need to be boiled for 15 minutes. They contain all the nutrition and appearance of regular

  • Beans without Borders

    Beans are essential in sub-Saharan Africa. In East Africa alone, they are among the most-traded commodity. Dr. Clare Mukankusi, Regional Bean Breeder My dream has always been to reach the poorest in Africa through science. And now, as a “doctor of plants,” as my children call me, I help regulate the flow of beans between the world’s

  • Lessons from field day in Tanzania

    By Jean Claude Rubyogo More than 300 farmers, companies, extension agents and media attended a field day at the Agriculture Seed Agency (ASA) seed farm at Ngaramtoni in Arusha, Tanzania, to raise awareness among smallholder farmer about the value of planting improved bean varieties. Facilitated by the Pan-Africa Research Alliance

  • New, improved bean varieties enhance food security and diet diversity in Malawi

    By Enid Katungi Our recent study, conducted to evaluate the performance of PABRA over the last two decades, shows remarkable achievements in terms of productivity and the number of people using improved bean varieties. Varietal output, proportion of households using the improved bean varieties and the number of improved bean varieties

  • Drought, pests and disease on the rise hit harvests in Zimbabwe

    By Enid Katungi For the past two decades, the Pan-Africa Bean Research alliance (PABRA), has stepped-up efforts in Zimbabwe to help farmers boost their bean production as a pathway to reducing poverty.  This is done with the support of the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC). With the same