Newly approved CGIAR Portfolio sets agenda for next generation agriculture research for development

 

Photo credit: CIMMYT

CGIAR system retools to fight hunger and climate change

 

CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future, dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services, today announced the approval of a new, targeted research portfolio to boost poor farmer incomes, food availability and resilience in the face of climate change in developing countries.

“Food demand is set to rise by at least 20 percent globally over the next 15 years, with the steepest increases in Africa, South Asia and East Asia,” said Juergen Voegele, Senior Director of the World Bank’s Agriculture Global Practice and Chair of the CGIAR System Council. “CGIAR and its network of 15 research centers is ideally positioned to deliver the suite of new agricultural technologies that are climate-smart, nutrition-sensitive and pro-poor.”

Upon the recommendation of the System Management Board, the CGIAR System Council carefully reviewed and approved a strong set of 11 CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and three research Platforms to start in January 2017, with funding allocations to be determined in November 2016.  CGIAR’s Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) assessed the research proposals for relevance and pro-poor impacts in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

To achieve durable impacts, CGIAR depends on national partnerships and critical support from CGIAR Funders and other contributors. The World Bank, which helped found CGIAR in 1971, will remain a strong partner. According to Voegele:“The World Bank is committed to its continued engagement with CGIAR, which is essential for improving the sustainability of global food systems, achieving improved nutritional outcomes, addressing climate change and meeting targets of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

Research outputs from CGIAR Research Centers continue to be the chief source of new technologies for poor farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. A recent study found that CGIAR-derived wheat varieties – nearly all traceable to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and its sister-center, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

– cover more than 100 million of the 220 million hectares planted to the crop worldwide, bringing as much as $3.1 billion each year in economic benefits.

Read the full article: CIMMYT

See also: Cimmyt

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Land degradation vs. economic and environmental sustainability

 

Photo credit: CGIAR

A Taru woman selling homegrown produce at a local market in Rajbiraj, Nepal. Photo credit: Mark Schauer.

Putting economic and environmental sustainability hand in hand to protect our lands

*Note: This article first appeared in the Solutions Journal (Volume 7, Issue 5, p. 17-20)

Land degradation is an underestimated global concern with far-reaching implications affecting the ability of land to provide food and incomes. Globally, a large portion of the vulnerable human populations—the rural poor—live on degrading and less-favored agricultural lands without market access. Heterogeneous solutions that ensure both economic and environmental sustainability are needed at multiple scales.

On a policy level, awareness of land and soil degradation is increasing. Last year all countries adopted a set of goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The specific goal on land degradation includes a commitment for countries to take steps to achieve a land-degradation neutral world. This commitment is universal; it will apply to developed as well as developing countries and covers lands with sufficient rainfalls for agriculture as well as drylands across political borders.

However, a recent publication claims ‘the end of desertification’ and calls for a more nuanced approach to the serious problem of global land degradation that moves away from the emotional rhetoric of expanding deserts and sand-covered villages, forcing people to migrate into an uncertain future (1). Such doom and gloom stories dominated international discussions in the late 20th century and provided the arguments for the establishment of a UN Convention to Combat Desertification, which is now specifically addressing this issue. Others have countered this direction of thoughts with a more optimistic view of how populations can survive by building on traditional knowledge in a new paradigm for people, ecosystems, and development.

Despite these debates, no one contends that land degradation is not a very real and serious problem. This is especially so for the sectors of society who are mainly smallholder farmers in drylands and characterized as being the poorest,hungriest, least healthy, and most marginalized people on Earth. These people depend on land as the basis for their economic development and opportunities, as small as they might be. A sustainable management and rehabilitation approach of land must thus be engaged for their survival and well-being.

Read the full article: CGIAR

Soil and land restoration (CIAT)

 

Photo credit: CIAT

CIAT and partners focus on soil and land restoration in Paraguay

by

There is a first time for everything, as the saying goes. And for CIAT´s Soils Research Area, the project “Confronting the challenges of smallholder farming communities: Restoration of degraded agroecosystems,” provided the entry point for a new effort in Paraguay to enhance the livelihoods of smallholder producers through restoration of soils and landscapes that are degraded, and conservation of those that are still in good health.

With assistance from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ, its German acronym) and financial support from Germany´s Federal Ministry of Cooperation and Economic Development (BMZ), the project is focusing on two regions of strategic importance.

One is the buffer zone of the Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve, which is a major remnant of the Atlantic Forest in Paraguay. CIAT scientists are working in this area with the Moisés Bertoni Foundation to help smallholders improve their systems for producing yerba mate (used to make a traditional beverage) in the shade of native tree species. The idea is to establish green corridors in the landscape, which has been extensively deforested, with severe soil degradation resulting from large-scale production of soybean and other crops.

Read the full article: CIAT-CGIAR

Food security and gender

Photo credit: CGIAR

Gender differences can create barriers to climate change adaptation. In many places, women are less likely than men to adopt new technologies, use credit or other financial services or receive education or extension advice. Photo: C. Peterson (CIAT/CCAFS)
(view original)

 

Tackle gender gaps to improve food security, say researchers

Data shows differences in how men and women experience – and deal with- climate change.

by Vanessa Meadu (CCAFS)

Women and men perceive climate change differently, and gender differences influence their ability to adapt, according to an analysis published on the IFPRI blog. Researchers Elizabeth Bryan, Patti Kristjanson and Claudia Ringler looked at gender dissagregated data collected at CCAFS research sites in Senegal, Uganda, Kenya and Bangladesh. What they found can help researchers and policy makers develop better interventions.

For example, there are differences in how women and men in the different countries perceived climatic changes, weather and events like flooding.

Read the full article: CCAFS-CGIAR

Necessity to build the capacity of Ivorian stakeholders

Photo credit: CCAFS

Many cocoa gardens in Côte d’Ivoire are old and suffer from declining productivity. Climate-smart agriculture addresses this problem, while helping farmers increase their income. Photo: C. Adjehi (ICRAF)

Towards climate-smart agriculture in Côte d’Ivoire

by Mathieu Ouédraogo, Cheick Mbow, Christophe Kouamé (CCAFS, ICRAF)

To prepare the implementation of climate-smart Agriculture, it is necessary to build the capacity of national Ivorian stakeholders.

Agriculture plays an important role in the economic and social development of West African countries. It employs 60% of the working population, and makes a significant contributionto GDP (35%) and export earnings. To continue performing its economic and social function efficiently, West African agriculture needs to address the challenge of climate change.

Climate change poses challenges to agriculture

Climate change poses three major challenges to agriculture, namely:

Feeding an ever-growing population: Estimated at 290 million in 2010, the West African population will more than double by 2050. This will increase food demand from 60% to 80% and require additional resources.

Adapting to climate change: Rising temperatures, less rainfall, more frequent droughts and floods, as well as the proliferation of pests as a result of climate change will lead to low and volatile returns, as well as a sharp increase in the prices of major food crops. Consequently, agriculture needs to adapt to climate change.

Producing while minimizing environmental impacts: Agriculture is the world’s primary source of methane and nitrous oxide emissions, a major source of carbon emissions and the world’s leading factor of deforestation. Agriculture and deforestation account for about 30% of global emissions of greenhouse gases. Agriculture is therefore a major element of climate change.

Need for agricultural transformation

To meet these three challenges, it is urgent to adopt climate-smart agriculture (CSA).This is an integrated approach already implemented by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in five pilot countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Senegal).

Read the full article: CCAFS

 

Impacts of Soil and Water Conservation

Photo credit: CGIAR

Traditional soil and water conservation structures in the arid agroecosystem of Southern Tunisia/ Photo credit: C. Zucca

 

Reviewing soil and water conservation research in Tunisia

Submitted by Dryland Systems CGIAR

A new report entitled “Impacts of Soil and Water Conservation Techniques in Tunisia – Inventory of Research Works and Studies” provides a comprehensive inventory of the research work and studies undertaken to date to assess the impacts of soil and water conservation in the country. This review is critical to the research effort at national and regional levels to address challenging issues such as water scarcity and land degradation.

A holistic systems approach that takes into account both biophysical and socio-economic factors was taken into account in order to pool together and categorize the main research topics, as follows:

  • The economic cost of the soil and waters conservation structures
  • The social value of soil and water conservation
  • Impact on landowners, and their investment behavior
  • Impact on the value of productivity
  • Impact on the environment

This inventory report covers over 150 documents in the English or French languages published in scientific journals, conference proceedings, and project reports and technical studies by governmental agencies that were, in some cases, not easily available to the public. A variety of studies on different soil and water conservation structures were reviewed, including terraces or contour benches, hill lakes, jessour, and recharge wells/check dams.

Read the full story: CGIAR Dryland Systems

Lasting impact for rural dryland communities

 

CGIAR DRYLANDS SYSTEMS

CGIAR – A N N U A L  R E P O R T  2 0 1 4

Pathways to lasting impact for rural dryland communities in the developing world

Contents

Dryland Systems at a glance………………………………………………………..2

  • Message from the Director General, International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas………………………………………….3
  • Message from the Program Director, Dryland Systems…………………..4
  • Our research……………………………………………………………………………….7
  • Where we work………………………………………………………………………… 14
  • Highlights of 2014 …………………………………………………………………… 15
  • Pathways to impact………………………………………………………………….. 21
  • Dryland Systems contributes towards universal sustainable development……………………………………………………………………………. 22
  • Strategies for women and youth ……………………………………………….. 41 Capacity development to achieve outcomes………………………………. 45 Partnerships ……………………………………………………………………………. 49
  • Financial summary for 2014…………………………………………………….. 53 Governance …………………………………………………………………………….. 57
  • Dryland Systems people…………………………………………………………… 59
  • Selected publications ………………………………………………………………. 61
  • Acronyms ………………………………………………………………………………… 63