CIAT Blog

Science to Cultivate Change

Sara Rankin was born in Cali and she is a researcher from the Sustainable Food Systems team at CIAT. This Champion has worked towards understanding the food system in Cali to develop a municipal public policy on food safety and sovereignty that meets the specific needs of this territory, among other goals. In this process, she has been able to meet one of the hidden pearls of the food initiatives in Cali: urban orchards, which are increasingly popular.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: October 16, 2019, 6:56 pm
Faridah Nakimbugwe (green dress), holds a packet of Super Kawomera outside a home in the Kampala, Uganda neighborhood of Nabulagala.Uganda’s newest health food craze began in the slums of Kampala. It started when a handful of women tried an unusual porridge, which is made from five grains grown in nearby hillsides, instead of their normal porridge, which is typically made from a single main ingredient like maize. Soon they began selling the new product door-to-door. Nutreal Limited, the local company that produces the porridge flour is now rushing to keep pace with demand.
Author: Sean Mattson
Posted: October 16, 2019, 6:25 pm
In his World Food Day blog, Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General of Bioversity International and CEO-Designate of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, explains why systems thinking is key to fixing the food system and introduces a new strategy for accelerated change at the nexus of food, agriculture, health and the environment.
Author: Juan Lucas Restrepo
Posted: October 15, 2019, 11:26 pm
As part of our activities to support SDG 2.5, we began construction of new genebank late last year. Once completed, Future Seeds, as we call it, will greatly increase our capacity to safeguard threatened crop varieties. It will also give our scientists the modern facility they need to study the full extent of the crops we’ve already conserved. The current facility is just not up to it any more.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: October 10, 2019, 10:32 pm
Smallholder poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is often linked to sandy soils, which hold little water and are low in nutrients. A new technology may be able to enrich fields and farmers without massive investments in irrigation and fertilizer
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: October 10, 2019, 8:56 pm
With this year’s implementation of a European Union regulation that strictly limits the amount of cadmium permitted in cacao and its products, farmers and other value chain actors need to know if their cacao can be made into products that meet the food safety standards. This is not straightforward. Different limits apply to different products, depending on the product composition and consumer characteristics. A new online tool developed by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) can help producers, processors, and exporters know if their cacao meet the requirements of the food safety regulation once processed into a product for the EU market.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: October 7, 2019, 6:37 pm
The Social Progress Index (SPI) is a comprehensive measure of the well-being of a society, which aims to support decision-makers in identifying development priorities to generate plans and projects in pockets of high social and environmental vulnerability. The index is based on social and environmental indicators, such as wellness (health, shelter, and sanitation), equality, inclusion, sustainability, and personal freedom and safety.
Author: Beatriz Rodriguez
Posted: October 4, 2019, 7:37 pm
Not a new: agriculture is not an exclusive business from rural areas. For that reason, several years ago, CIAT began to respond to the need of building an inclusive and resilient food system in one of the most important cities in Colombia: Cali.
Author: Erika Eliana Mosquera
Posted: October 4, 2019, 6:49 pm
Marcela Quintero is one of the most prestigious researchers on environmental and agricultural issues at CIAT. She began her work as a member of a small team that started thinking how to internalize the environmental externalities in water basins. The work on Payment for Environmental Services stemmed from there, a pretty “odd” topic for the Center 18 years ago.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: October 3, 2019, 10:25 pm
Smallholder dairy farming continues to thrive in rural and peri-urban households in East Africa. Thanks to the tangible wins, farmers have derived over time milk, manure, and financial income, among other benefits. However, feeding the animals is akin to Napier grass, courtesy for its high biomass production and withstanding frequent cutting.
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: October 3, 2019, 6:07 pm
Florence Makokha did not have a head start in life: she was married off at an early age and was not able to finish her formal education. Today, Florence is not only one of the flourishing farmers in her village but she is also a proud farmer peer educator.
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: September 25, 2019, 4:19 am
First inventory of restoration projects across Latin America and the Caribbean shows where the potential lies for climate mitigation and provides a compass towards reaching the Bonn Challenge ambitions through forest restoration
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: September 23, 2019, 11:27 pm
The Analytical Services Laboratory (LSA, its Spanish initials), which is part of the Agroecosystems and Sustainable Landscapes (ASL) area at CIAT, was listed as eligible for funding to participate in Proficiency Tests carried out by the Colombian National Metrology Institute (INM).
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: September 19, 2019, 11:04 pm
Ricardo Hernández is a well-kept secret weapon laying in Vietnam office for the war against nutritional deficiencies. As part of the Sustainable Food System team under the Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) in Vietnam, his mission is helps us disassembling to comprehend the biggest and complex machine of this times in agricultural world (and in others): the food system.
Author: Erika Eliana Mosquera
Posted: September 18, 2019, 7:13 pm
Over the years, many discussions on the benefits of conservation agriculture vis-à-vis conventional tillage have been held. These have mainly focused on the associated soil physical and chemical benefits. However, on most occasions, little attention has focused on the benefits of practicing conservation agriculture for soil health. Indeed, for the myriad soil benefits and even improvements in crop yield, there is often a direct or indirect association with the activities of soil biological organisms and, generally, soil health.
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: September 17, 2019, 11:04 pm
One of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change is learning to get out of its straitjacket and explore its futures, although it still does not know them well.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: September 16, 2019, 10:16 pm
CIAT held a workshop as part of the work on livestock production and environment funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), to reinforce knowledge on Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) on the livestock sector in Colombia, which includes silvopastoral systems.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: September 5, 2019, 11:42 pm
When Christian came to CIAT in 2010, he had no intention to stay. All he wanted, was to find out what climate change would do to tropical perennial crops and nobody seemed to have a good answer but CIAT’s DAPA research area had just published some innovative ideas how the problem could be addressed.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: September 4, 2019, 11:35 pm
CIAT was at the NaneNane festival held in Thermi Show Ground Arusha Tanzania to showcase their Mbili Mbili technology. NaneNane, a Swahili name meaning “eight”, is an annual farmers’ festival held during the first eight days of August by the national government in collaboration with other actors in the agricultural sector. 
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: August 28, 2019, 9:39 pm
International Youth Day (IYD) an initiative by the United Nations, is commemorated yearly on 12 August to bring to the fore the youth’s pivotal role in accelerating progress towards global goals. In addition, the day is also meant to draw the attention of stakeholders and leaders to the pertinent challenges faced by the world’s youth. As highlighted by UNESCO, one of the issues that deserves due concern is the need for the education system to prepare learners to meet the challenges of the present and to help them maximize the opportunities of the future.
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: August 27, 2019, 3:32 pm
CIAT, along with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and local implementing partner the Amazon Conservation Team (ECAM), is contributing to the collective establishment of the Quilombola Fund. A fund conceived following a commitment by the mining company Mineraçӑo Rio Norte, whose activities take place in the Quilombola territory, to actively engage in compensation mechanisms for local communities.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: August 23, 2019, 11:05 pm
Photo by Neil Palmer (CIAT). Silvopastoral livestock systems in Colombia's southwestern Cauca Department.The changing climate and the need to feed a growing world population is putting significant strains on food production systems globally and solutions are required to enhance agricultural production in a sustainable way. By addressing the water needs and heat tolerance of crops as well as the impact of livestock grazing, the partnerships will address this challenge. Tim Willis, BBSRC Associate Director International, said: “This important research will benefit poor farmers in Latin America, providing evidence-based approaches to manage livestock, protect biodiversity and reduce the pressure on freshwater supplies”.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: August 21, 2019, 10:43 pm
Since June, 2018, Mayesse Da Silva, Soil Scientist at CIAT, has been working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and USDA-FAS on the characterization and detailed mapping of cacao soils in Colombia under the “Cacao for Peace (CfP)” program.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: August 14, 2019, 11:58 pm
CIAT is proud! Jefferson Valencia, young scientist from the Agroecosystems and Sustainable Landscapes (ASL) area at CIAT, was awarded a Borlaug fellowship and will attend Purdue University in Indiana, United States, to pursue an internship to implement a hydrological assessment based on GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to optimize cacao production in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: August 14, 2019, 9:55 pm
Together with stakeholders from different countries in Asia, Country Coordination and Engagement Unit of Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH CCE) in Vietnam participated in CFS Regional Consultation on Food systems and Nutrition for Asia and the Pacific held in Bangkok on 25-26 July 2019 and contributed to giving feedbacks and inputs on the four chapters of the Zero Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines.
Author: Huynh Tuyen
Posted: August 13, 2019, 12:10 am
“Many findings are important for us and for policy makers around the world. The report shows that land is both a source and a sink of greenhouse gases. Currently, land absorbs 22% of our greenhouse gas emissions and such absorption has increased as our emissions have increased. Therefore, we are receiving a free subsidy from nature as the land is reducing the negative climate impacts of our own actions. The report also shows that this subsidy will not go on indefinitely, and the continuous land and soil degradation are major threats to the biosphere and the continued absorption of carbon dioxide.”
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: August 12, 2019, 5:09 pm
Using artificial intelligence, scientists created an easy-to-use tool to detect banana diseases and pests. With an average 90 percent success rate in detecting a pest or a disease, the tool can help farmers avoid millions of dollars in losses.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: August 12, 2019, 3:00 am
Using the genetic traits of a wild bean species, CIAT and the Crop Trust are breeding heat-tolerant common beans to benefit farmers in Latin America and Africa
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: August 9, 2019, 10:52 pm
CIAT collaborates with CocoaLink to help young farmers mitigate the negative effects of climate change through digital maps. Get critical information on cocoa and agricultural tips by downloading CocoaLink mobile application.
Author: Natalia Gutiérrez
Posted: August 8, 2019, 7:05 pm
Towards the end July, National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) representatives from eight countries in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia converged in Tanzania to take stock of the concluding Tropical Legumes project that has been going on for the past 12 years. The Tropical legumes (TL) project was in three phases spread out over 12 years of implementation. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) together with International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) were the main implementing partners working together with NARS.
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: August 8, 2019, 5:57 pm
  • Kenya partners review the future of High Iron Beans

    Kenya gets most of its beans from Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, and DRC as imports. This shows that Kenya is a big market and consumer of beans. If bean productivity in Kenya can be doubled through high-yielding, climate-smart varieties and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), more people will be fed. High Iron

  • High Iron and zinc beans: The new panacea for malnutrition in Zimbabwe

     by Eileen Nchanji and Bruce Mutari Most rural households in Zimbabwe are vulnerable from multiple climatic shocks, cash shortages, price changes, health issues resulting in 33% of the households not getting enough food with 10% experiencing severe hunger. This scenario has translated to a decrease in households consuming adequate diet

  • Fusing Agri-business with creative arts: An alternative source of livelihood

    By  Dr. Eileen Nchanji   Climate is changing, but governments are doing very little to prepare farmers to deal with these changes. Most times the weather information is inadequate and not timely. Foresight studies which can help farmers on how to plan ahead and engage in alternative livelihood activities are

  • Mastercard partners with USADF, CIAT to open up new opportunities for smallholder farmers across Africa

    CIAT and USADF provide funding and support for award-winning Mastercard solution Kampala, Uganda July 10, 2019 – Mastercard has today announced the signing of two public-private partnerships that will extend the reach of the Mastercard Farmers Network (MFN) to millions of smallholder farmers in Africa. Under this partnership, key partners, the

  • Breeding better crops for home and for export

    New crop varieties are driving growth in Ethiopian agricultural markets. Specially bred beans already earn the country valuable export income. The country’s Agricultural Research Institute is now building market-led approaches into its breeding programs for all crops. Ethiopian agriculture remains dominated by millions of smallholders. However, new crop varieties are

  • Healthier and Prosperous Africa: ‘AVISA’ Project launched for faster agriculture gains in seven countries

    Tanzanian Minister for Agriculture calls for more public-private collaboration Greater yields, higher incomes, and improved livelihoods – these will be the results farmers in seven countries across Africa could get with the launch of the Accelerated Varietal Improvement and Seed Delivery of Legumes and Cereals in Africa (AVISA) project. Focusing

  • CBI bags presidential award for the first bio fortified beans in Zimbabwe

    As the world celebrated love, Crop Breeding Institute (CBI), was celebrating beans after receiving a prestigious award by the government of Zimbabwe in recognition of their outstanding contribution in research at the 12th Zimbabwe International Research Symposium 2019. The 2019 theme was The Nexus between Research Industry: Key to Innovation and

  • Precooked beans set to reach more households in Africa

    When the first phase of Cultivate Africa’s Future (CultiAF) project came to an end in 2016, it was clear that a larger scale production and dissemination plan was needed in the next phase. This plan will ensure more households in Africa can access precooked beans which are easier to handle.

  • Beans boosting nutrition and keeping Kenyan students in school

    Bean production initiative at Mwireri Secondary School started in 2017 with a small demonstration to assess the suitability of two varieties for the area. From the success observed, the school has now taken up bean production as one of its self-sustaining enterprises. The school currently grows beans on one-acre piece

  • Policymakers at the center of High Iron Bean promotion in Kenya

    Policymakers at the center of High Iron Bean promotion in Kenya The Big 4 Agenda is at the heart of the President of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta’s flagship projects that will position Kenya as a development-oriented country. Food and nutrition security is one of the pillars the government would like