CIAT Blog

Science to Cultivate Change

This piece celebrates December 5, World Soils Day, and was first posted on the Thrive Blog, of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems. Just a few weeks ago, we published a study stating that farm land soils, if managed properly, have the potential to sequester up to 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide; […]
Author: Rolf Sommer
Posted: December 5, 2017, 6:43 pm
CIAT library, coordinated by Elizabeth Campillo and Carlos Saa, has not been the exception and it has also evolved at the pace of major changes brought by ICTs, bearing in mind the budgetary constraints of recent years.
Author: José Antonio Arana
Posted: November 30, 2017, 1:32 am
Last October, the CIAT Phenomics Platform Team from the Agrobiodiversity Area conducted the “Drones for Agriculture” course, with the purpose of training staff from different programs at the Center, who were interested in getting acquainted with the remote detection techniques that may be applied to agriculture through drones.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: November 30, 2017, 1:22 am
CIAT staff invited by FAO Rome to present results on BMZ funded project on “Making Value Chains work for Nutrition in East Africa”.
Author: Natalia Gutiérrez
Posted: November 24, 2017, 11:52 pm
Eating beans bred to contain higher iron can boost memory and attention span in female university students in Rwanda, the study shows. Policy makers could consider including iron-biofortified beans as part of national strategies to overhaul food systems on the continent.
Author: Georgina Smith
Posted: November 22, 2017, 10:16 am
A recently published study indicates the extent that farmers in Colombia's Cauca Department use improved cassava varieties. The research has also led to a discovery of new varieties of this staple crop.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: November 21, 2017, 4:43 pm
Dr. Augusto Castro explains the relationship between promoting peace, conserving forests, and achieving sustainable food production. An op-ed published on Devex.
Author: Augusto Castro
Posted: November 21, 2017, 3:46 pm
The process of getting better practices to more people – “scaling up” innovations to make agriculture more climate-smart - has baffled many development practitioners. Some approaches work on a small scale, but suddenly on a larger scale, everything changes. These are the challenges that the authors of these 9 briefs just published set out to address.
Author: Georgina Smith
Posted: November 17, 2017, 3:20 pm
At COP23, Dr. Julian Ramirez and Dr. Daniel Jimenez received one of the prizes of the coveted 2017 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: November 14, 2017, 10:36 pm
By better managing farmland soil, the amount of carbon stored in the top 30 centimeters of the soil could increase an extra 0.9 to 1.85 gigatons each year, say authors of a new study published today in Scientific Reports.
Author: Georgina Smith
Posted: November 14, 2017, 6:44 pm
Palabras del Presidente Juan Manuel Santos en la celebración de los 50 años del Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: November 8, 2017, 10:45 pm
The scientific community does already have large amounts of data about what kinds of soils we have, but we need higher resolution data – especially in Africa – and better information about what hinders farmers from investing in soil conserving practices. Also, funding researchers to develop robust prediction models to determine hotspots of potential carbon sequestration that are applicable worldwide, would be a good start.  
Author: Rolf Sommer
Posted: November 8, 2017, 9:55 am
Out of 857 rice varieties released in Latin America and the Caribbean in the last 50 years, 377 have CIAT DNA in their pedigree. They constitute an invaluable legacy that has enabled the region to be more competitive. Where does the lineage come from? This is an acknowledgement to the Rice Program at CIAT and the hundreds of researchers who have contributed to it.
Author: Adriana Varón
Posted: November 7, 2017, 6:52 pm
The latest CSA profiles offer recommendations on how farmers in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal can adapt to and mitigate climate change.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: November 3, 2017, 11:03 pm
Like many of his neighbors, Nguyen Duc Du relied on government food aid when typhoons – which regularly visited Tan Tien village in Quang Binh province – destroyed their rice crops. Except one time, nearly a decade ago, when the valley got flooded and no relief teams could get in. Then they had their stock of boiled and sun-dried sweetpotatoes to thank for tiding them over while waiting for food to be airdropped.
Author: Madelline Romero
Posted: November 3, 2017, 9:25 pm
We are 20 days away from the great event to celebrate CIAT’s 50th Anniversary at our headquarters on 8 and 9 November, and it’s time to dress up for the party!
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: October 27, 2017, 12:02 am
Some scientists believe their careers rely on keeping their data private. WorldClim proves precisely the opposite.
Author: Andy Jarvis
Posted: October 26, 2017, 10:39 pm
Sharing data is not about giving it away but about giving it back, says Data and Information Manager Leroy Mwanzia.
Author: Leroy Mwanzia
Posted: October 26, 2017, 4:06 pm
PestDisPlace can serve as an early warning system for pests and diseases in crops.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: October 25, 2017, 9:39 pm
CIAT is using big data and machine learning to develop a Nutrition Early Warning System (NEWS) for Africa.
Author: Fridah Nyakundi
Posted: October 23, 2017, 9:36 pm
Sylvia Pineda, a member of the internal communications team at CIAT, visited the Central American regional office in Managua, Nicaragua, on October 16-20. During her visit, topics related to the work carried out by the internal communications team, its achievements, and future prospects for the region were discussed.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: October 23, 2017, 8:56 pm
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
  • First Study Shows Eating High-Iron Beans Improves Memory and Attention Span in Female University Students in Rwanda

    by Georgina Smith | Nov 22, 2017 Eating beans bred to contain higher iron can boost memory and attention span in female university students in Rwanda, the study shows. Policy makers could consider including iron-biofortified beans as part of national strategies to overhaul food systems on the continent. A recent

  • The road out of poverty depends on feeding our children nutritious food first

    by Mercy Lungaho At the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue this week, October 18-20, Dr. Mercy Lung’aho says feeding our youth more nutritious food is critical for a prosperous Africa. Her opinion piece was first published by Inter Press Service News Agency.  One drizzly morning in some lush green tea plantations in Rwanda, I

  • 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 malnutrition

    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