CIAT Blog

Science to Cultivate Change

The COVID-19 pandemic brings home a point that Jane Goodall recently echoed in a stern warning to the world. In an interview, the celebrated primatologist said humanity will end if we do not change our ways, specifically how and what we eat, which has caused undue damage to forests.
Author: Maria Eliza Villarino
Posted: July 1, 2020, 4:02 am
Digitization throughout the entire system, consumer education, associativity in marketing, protocols for biosecurity, reduction of losses and waste from production to consumption, and the strengthening of urban and peri-urban agriculture will  make Colombia’s food system more efficient. This was one of the major conclusions that came out of the national dialog on the country’s food system in times of COVID-19, organized by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT on Friday, May 29.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: June 10, 2020, 10:03 pm
COVID-19 has only further complicated the challenge of feeding growing cities across Africa and the rest of the world. Researchers are listening to vulnerable urban populations to help develop better, sustainable food system solutions.
Author: Erika Eliana Mosquera
Posted: June 9, 2020, 10:24 pm
Dr. Myles Fisher, an Emeritus of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and a groundbreaking agricultural scientist passed away on the 27th of May. He suffered a stroke, which mercifully was sudden and painless. Myles was my colleague, my mentor, and my friend and it is deeply saddening to hear of his death.
Author: Andy Jarvis
Posted: June 6, 2020, 8:56 pm
Deforestation has many drivers but one is often overlooked: food consumption in cities that increases demand for products produced on deforested land. To be successful, tropical countries’ zero-deforestation policies need to address changing urban food demands
Author: Augusto Castro
Posted: June 5, 2020, 10:52 pm
The 2020 Innovative Applications in Analytics Award (IAAA) was awarded to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Their tools, which help farmers to increase productivity, use more sustainable practices and access markets, topped bids from international technology companies and universities with projects applied to various fields.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: June 2, 2020, 7:58 pm
In an act of solidarity, seeds awarded as an incentive to smallholders are shared with other women farmers unable to purchase seed during the pandemic.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: May 14, 2020, 4:41 pm
Agriculture for Nutrition and Health Research Program (A4NH) researchers from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT have been part of the Technical Working Group on Nutrition led by UNICEF and the National Institute of Nutrition in Vietnam since 2017.
Author: Tuyen Huynh
Posted: May 8, 2020, 7:02 am
Global heat stress is a growing problem that stands to impact health, livelihoods and the very food we eat. While high temperatures and heat waves can occur under normal weather conditions, with climate change they are becoming more severe, last longer and happen more frequently. In 2019, we saw wildfires blaze across different parts of the world, culminating in the devastating bushfires in Australia that raged for nearly two and half months, fueled by record-breaking temperatures and prolonged drought.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: May 7, 2020, 1:44 am
Making sure that the collections of beans, cassava, bananas, and forages remain alive, even during the quarantine, is an essential job of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT in order to preserve the world’s biodiversity and food safety. From its work sites in laboratories, greenhouses, and experimental fields in Palmira, Colombia, and at the University of Louvain, in Belgium, Mónica, Melissa, Madelyn, Ramiro, Javier, Jair, Wilmer, Vincent, and Bart tell us about their experience in which they take on with equal responsibility the preventive measures established by the health authorities of their countries and those of our own organization. Their mission during the confinement is to safeguard the patrimony of more than 150 nations of the world that have entrusted the Alliance with one of their most precious treasures, their seeds.
Author: Adriana Varón
Posted: April 17, 2020, 10:55 pm
Author: Erika Eliana Mosquera
Posted: April 16, 2020, 5:09 am
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: April 13, 2020, 4:43 pm
On a day like today, on April 9, 1920, Dr. Armando Samper Gnecco was born in Bogotá, Colombia. Years later, he would be renowned for dedicating his life to the development of agriculture in Latin America.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: April 9, 2020, 5:50 pm
The Alliance of Bioversity International and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) has been supporting Heifer International in their drive to adopt the Market System Development (MSD) approach as an intervention model within the organization, so far conducting four introductory training sessions.
Author: Erika Eliana Mosquera
Posted: March 28, 2020, 1:37 am
Deep in the Brazilian Amazon, around 290 quilombolas (Afro-Brazilian communities) and small groups of people living along the river side (hereafter riverine communities) in the Oriximiná municipality, located in the state of Pará, joined a series of meetings with the purpose of validating the results of the previously applied "Social Progress Index" (SPI).
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: March 25, 2020, 6:33 pm
We live in an ever increasingly faster changing world. Technology, services, products, enterprises, economy, markets, social habits, competition… everything changes. That is why organizations are faced with the challenge to change in an effort to adapt to new times in order to improve their competitiveness, productivity and efficiency.
Author: Sylvia Pineda
Posted: March 25, 2020, 2:13 am
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: March 16, 2020, 10:06 pm
New study: Making adaptation effort actionable at scale towards a climate smart cocoa sector.Public, private and non-governmental actors can use our recommendation domains to roll-out climate adaptation interventions at scale.
Author: Natalia Gutiérrez
Posted: March 12, 2020, 5:18 am
Water hyacinth is an invasive weed posing a grave threat to Lake Tana. A growing problem since 2011, the dangerous aquatic weed currently covers over 197 km in seven districts of the Amhara region and continues to expand rapidly.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: March 11, 2020, 11:05 pm
In April 2018, heavy rains pounded the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda with torrents of water washing down to Burera Village causing flooding and destroying property as they went along.
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: March 11, 2020, 2:49 pm
Farmer input is essential to tackling global challenges of climate change, rural poverty and nutrition. A new data collection tool aims to build the biggest open-access dataset of its kind for development and research
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: March 9, 2020, 10:08 pm
With climate change, the issues of land are becoming more important. Land conditions are vulnerable to ongoing climate change, including increased rainfall intensity, flooding, drought frequency and severity, heat stress, dry spells, wind and sea-level rise. The 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and Land notes that sustainable land management can contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. There is rising appreciation of context-specific options, which include local and indigenous knowledge of communities on sustainable land management. As such, land users’ priorities, perceptions, experiences and knowledge in sustainable land management need more attention. Further, economic, political and social factors can create opportunities or constrain land use and management, and its contribution to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: March 2, 2020, 11:21 pm
The Latin American and Caribbean region (LAC) is the main producer of fine flavor cacao in the world. The contribution of LAC to the worldwide production of cacao, currently 17%, has nearly doubled in the last decade, taking advantage of the growth of global and regional demand for cacao by consumers. Cacao buyers obtain part of their supply from LAC to diversify and ensure their supply, forecasting the growing demand for fine flavor cacao in the world market and anticipating the negative impacts of climate change, among other factors, in West Africa, where most of the conventional cacao is currently produced.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: February 28, 2020, 5:26 pm
Mushimiyimana and her family are one of the more than 420,000 farming households in Rwanda who cultivate iron-biofortified bean that were developed by HarvestPlus, the Rwanda Agriculture Board, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and first released in the country in 2012. In just a few years since then, iron bean cultivation has expanded rapidly and currently accounts for 20 percent of all beans grown in Rwanda; more than 1.8 million Rwandans, or about 15 percent of the total population, were estimated to be eating these nutritious beans—and the market continues to grow.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: February 20, 2020, 9:39 pm
When Simon and Sylvia Kiruja started their farm three years ago, they never imagined it would get so big they would need a bigger plot. Their three cows used to bring them 7 litres of milk a day. Today, their 45 cows deliver more than 250 litres daily, contributing around US$1,700 monthly depending on the season, to the Kiruja’s income.
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: February 13, 2020, 5:33 pm
As Ethiopia approaches 105 million people, the growing demand for food is expanding agriculture into marginal, forest, and natural conservation areas. Human-induced activities include population pressure, agricultural expansion, logging, and development, which have been challenging development and conservation efforts. As cultivation and grazing expand into peripheral and conservation areas, land degradation in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, and nutrient mining as well as conflict between land uses and users accelerate the vulnerability of local farmers to climate change. Despite the environmental, social, and economic benefits of biodiversity and natural ecosystem conservation, the reality is that views that strictly exclude the human element are no longer an option.
Author: Rosemary Nzuki
Posted: February 12, 2020, 7:43 pm
Author: Erika Eliana Mosquera
Posted: February 5, 2020, 9:38 pm
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Author: Erika Eliana Mosquera
Posted: January 28, 2020, 11:34 pm
The wild relatives of chile peppers, pumpkins, carrots, and lettuce join a growing list of poorly conserved plant species. These ancient plants have genes that may help our food withstand the harsh climate of our future. If they don’t go extinct first Growing up in the wild makes plants tough. Wild plants evolve to survive the whims of nature and thrive in difficult conditions, including extreme climate conditions, poor soils, and pests and diseases. Their better-known descendants – the domesticated plants that are critical to a healthy diet – are often not nearly as hardy. The genes that make crop wild relatives robust have the potential to make their cultivated cousins - our food plants - better prepared for a harsh climate future. But a series of new research papers show these critical plants are imperiled.
Author: CIAT Comunicaciones
Posted: January 23, 2020, 11:06 pm
  • Burundi: Breaking down barriers for beans

    As part of our contribution to the United Nations’ International Year of Pulses, we’re starting a blog series called “Bean-Growing Country of the Month.” This first article focuses on a country that is rebuilding its bean research programme with assistance from the CIAT-supported Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance. Earlier this year,

  • Breakthrough in Rwanda: Climbing to new heights

    Ellen Tuyisenga (pictured below) has the answer. It came to her one day in the field, as she talked with friends about earnings from the previous bean harvest. One lady recounted that she had made more than US$1,000. Then her husband took the money away, leaving her with nothing. “I

  • “White gold” beans to beat drought in Ethiopia

    New drought-resilient white beans – most commonly used to make baked beans – will be deployed to Ethiopia, as erratic weather threatens national production and farmers’ incomes. Severe drought in Ethiopia, Africa’s largest exporter of the bean used to make baked beans, could hit production for millions who cultivate and

  • New PABRA Infographic: Better beans to enhance food security, incomes, and health in Africa

    The Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) has accomplished a lot over the last few years. The Alliance, coordinated by CIAT and made up of over 350 partners, has released more than 550 new bean varieties in Africa since 1996, all of which were bred to be better than their ancestors.

  • Beans to the rescue in the fight against child malnutrition and school absenteeism in Madagascar

    Twelve-year-old Branza has lived in an orphanage in Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital, since 2010, because his parents cannot afford to feed him. Madagascar is known for its sunny beaches and scuba diving. What many don’t know is that nine out of ten Malagasy people live below the poverty threshold, according to

  • Understanding Rwanda’s puzzling nutrition paradox

    It’s October in Cyuve district, one of Rwanda’s most productive agricultural regions. Looking across the valley to the hills in the far distance, just one crop dominates. Climbing beans. The beans are not yet waist high. Instead, it is the many thousands of uniform two metre wooden stakes reaching into

  • Bean recipe book published in Zambia

    A Zambian book containing recipes for healthy bean-based meals is now available online. The book, created by the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) and Zambian Agricultural Research Centre (ZARI) in partnership with the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) in 2014, was developed to aide health extension workers in their

  • Cameroon releases new five bean varieties

    Last month (March 2015), Cameroon celebrated the release of five new bean varieties aimed at reducing malnutrition and raising farmer incomes. A ceremony, opened by the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, Dr. Madeleine Tchuinté, to honour the occasion, was held at the Agricultural Research Institute for Development (IRAD) research station

  • Partnership – the heart of bean research

    If you had to choose just one word that captures the essence of bean research in Sub-Saharan Africa it is ‘partnership’ – between researchers, farmers, policymakers, nutritionists, private sector service providers  and every other actor along the bean value chain. From the moment Dr Gerardine Mukeshima, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture

  • Raising the profile of legumes – starting with seed systems in Eastern Africa

    “Grain legumes don’t get the attention or investment that they deserve”, so say more than 50 grain legume experts and value chain actors who gathered in Nairobi on 28 to 30 January 2015 – which is precisely why the UN has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (otherwise called