CIAT’s Partnership with Australia: Opportunity, food security, and economic empowerment for the world’s poor

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Information about CIAT’s Partnership with Australia: Opportunity, food security, and...
Investor Relations

Published on February 3, 2014

Author: CIAT



CIAT’s work harnesses global expertise and partnerships to empower poor people to take control of their earning capacity. In line with Australia’s own vision to promote sound economic growth and global stability, CIAT looks forward to continuing its work with long-standing partners
including the Australian government, and shedding light on today’s global challenges and solutions.

Stewardship Report Achieving Food Security and Rural Prosperity across the Tropics CIAT’s Partnership with Australia: Opportunity, food security, and economic empowerment for the world’s poor 1

CIAT’s Global Vision Towards empowerment in the tropics Major research breakthroughs in boosting food security have been achieved as a result of the Center’s focus on rice in Latin America and the Caribbean, and globally on cassava, common bean, and tropical forages for livestock. Scientific breakthroughs at CIAT are Alongside research helping preserve biodiversity and boost food and nutrition security on these major crops, CIAT also works in two key areas that cut across all tropical crops and environments – pioneering soils research and Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA), which influences the development of pro-poor policies. As lead center for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security program (CCAFS), we share Australia’s aims to cut global temperature change to 2 degrees Celsius or below, reduce emissions in developing countries, and implement strong mitigation approaches. Each day about 20,000 people will die from malnutrition and starvation, the majority in the developing world and most of them children. That is an unacceptably high number of preventable deaths. The pressure to strengthen the fight against poverty and hunger, especially in tropical areas, is greater than ever before. Global commodity price rises and volatility, dwindling natural resources, environmental degradation, climate change, and emerging pests and diseases are just a few of the threats compounded by poverty and social-political concerns. With a strong understanding of the complex issues facing the global tropics, CIAT remains as confident about tackling these challenges as it did when the center was established in 1967. At the core of our mandate is agricultural eco-efficiency, an approach that promotes competitive and profitable food production and economic empowerment for the world’s poorest people, while reducing our environmental footprint and preserving the natural resource base. Our eco-efficiency approach is promoting sustainable food production and economic empowerment for smallholder farmers globally 2 With a proven track record of high integrity, transparency, and impact, we deliver results. But we do not achieve impact alone – we are proud of our special relationship with Australia, and strong and growing partnerships with local NGOs and research organizations, governments, the private sector, and colleagues in CGIAR centers around the world.

Partnership with Australia Agricultural research success We share the view of Australia’s government that the best way to help people out of poverty is by giving them an opportunity to earn a decent living. Three quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas and rely on agriculture to survive. By working with poor farmers, our ultimate aim is to empower them with the skills and technology to lift their standards of living and provide a food-secure future for themselves and their families – particularly in the face of challenges such as increasing population and climate change. To do this, CIAT understands that small-scale agriculture in tropical areas must not only be intensified but transformed into robust, resilient, efficient, and sustainable systems. These systems must meet growing global demand for food while offering a profitable pathway out of poverty, at the same time creating opportunities for wider sustainable economic growth. Australia has provided instrumental funds to CIAT for more than 25 years. With an international reputation as a leader in agricultural research, and as one of the fastest-growing contributors to CGIAR, Australia has partnered with CIAT to deliver on its mandate, particularly in Southeast Asia, where research has made significant impact in reducing food insecurity and fostering inclusive and sustainable economic development. We thank the Australian government for investing in agricultural development. Through the current revision of our new strategic framework (2014-2020), we are confident that our joint aspirations can continue to lead to a more stable world, where women and men in rural and urban areas can make informed decisions about their health and futures without being hampered by poverty or malnutrition. Ahead of the game sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. Researchers toil around the clock on crop improvement and on pioneering approaches for soil fertility management, soil health, sustainable land management, and including spatial and policy analyses focused on linking farmers to markets, ecosystem services, gender analysis, and impact assessment. From scientific breakthroughs to value chain research and market analysis, CIAT’s scientists and partners combine global expertise, the latest technology, and enterprising ideas to rapidly respond to today’s challenges. CIAT prides itself on creating win-win solutions to poverty, which can be scaled up to deliver major economic impact. A number of high, long-term impact strategic initiatives are currently being developed. They include LivestockPlus, an approach that aims to double meat and milk production on less land, restore degraded soils, sequester huge amounts of carbon, and reduce harmful nitrous oxide and methane emissions. The center continues to develop and build upon formidable capacity in research to stay one step ahead of new threats to global food security. With its headquarters near Cali, Colombia, CIAT has regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hanoi, Vietnam, with a network of scientists working throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, 3

Impact of Australian Investments Better beef, boosted incomes forages, while boosting cattle growth through better feed, transforming them into a high value commodity. Fast-growing, high-quality, largely disease- and pest-resistant forages ensured that steers can double in value from US$200 to $400 over a mere 120-day period. In Cambodia, cattle are rarely raised by smallholder farmers for their market value alone. Almost all of the 3.2 million cattle in the country provide essential draught power for land preparation or transport and manure for maintaining soil fertility. Crucially, they are valued as a “cash account” that can be liquidated easily when needed. Yet with annual increases in beef consumption for the whole of Southeast Asia projected at a sustained 3.4% until 2020, rising demand for meat linked to more affluent populations presents a niche opportunity for smallholder farmers to cash in on their cows. With these forages grown near the house, the time spent gathering feed is cut by an average of two hours daily, and given that children usually collect forages, more children are getting to school on time, with teachers reporting better progress in school. Enterprising farmers have embraced the opportunities by selling forages and cuttings, resulting in extra income of around $300 a year. These systems also provide security for people living in flood-prone lowland areas, allowing them to source feed from upland areas during floods. The original project target of reaching 500 households has been exceeded in one province alone – with forages now grown in every province in Cambodia. But keeping cattle is a time consuming and risky business. It is perceived as a backup system rather than a major income generator. Challenging this perception, CIAT researchers and partners developed an improved forage management system that drastically cuts time spent on gathering Smallholder farmers in Cambodia are transforming their livelihoods and livestock production with improved forage systems 4

Getting pigs to market Among upland ethnic communities in northern Laos, pig sales provide roughly half of family income, and almost every household keeps pigs. Women are responsible for collecting and preparing pig feed, but due to natural scarcity at certain periods of the year and with traditional feeds becoming rare, up to four hours a day can be wasted searching for feed and firewood to cook it. Despite this significant time investment, the resulting low-protein and mineral-deficient diet usually translates into poor pig growth rates, with farmers unable to make good returns on their animals. Pig production is increasing incomes for farmers in Laos Cavy keeping in DRC: A life-saving strategy Far from being a part-time hobby, raising small stock such as the cavy, an Andean rodent, forms a survival strategy in conflict areas. These small animals are owned by more people in troubled Sud-Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), than any other livestock, so research focusing on these animals impacts the majority of poor farmers. At lower risk of disease or theft compared to goats or chicken, cavies are also an important first step to keeping larger animals. As trading and breeding activities are controlled by women and teenage boys, there is potential to empower their keepers as well. Although cavies can contribute to food security and are a good source of protein, most families also sell them, especially when in need of income to pay school fees or uniforms. Investigating ways to ramp up pig production and income for poor smallholder farmers, CIAT and partners promoted supplementing traditional pig diets with the legume Stylo (Stylosanthes guianensis) variety CIAT 184, a high-yielding feed crop that is easy to grow and harvest, competes with weeds, and is, of course, popular with pigs. As a result, weight gain of pigs doubled from 100 to 200 grams a day. The supplement also boosted survival of young pigs from as little as 30% to roughly 80%, with pigs reaching saleable weight two months earlier than un-supplemented pigs. As better price tags at market fetched higher incomes, farmers began to realize the true value of their pigs for the first time, taking a bigger interest in pig nutrition and intensifying their production for sale. Challenges remain, such as emerging diseases associated with intensified production systems. Further research is currently being undertaken to tackle these issues, but the economic and social benefits are already clear. Planting Stylo on-farm has saved women an average of two hours daily searching for green feeds, while doubling growth rates, so leading to a four-fold increase in labor productivity. In just four years, more than 1,200 households mixed Stylo in their pigs’ diets – and local extensionists continue to spread the word. Cavies may suffer up to 50% mortality rate, indicating a clear need to improve general husbandry. Baseline data was gathered on the genetic diversity of cavies to improve breeding by partner organizations Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and University of Dschang in Cameroon. On-farm forage demonstration plots in four sites showed that herbaceous legumes, including Canavalia brasiliensis and Desmodium species, were enjoyed by cavies. 5

Farmers are being trained in cultivating these forages, which are also dry-season tolerant, and to produce their own seeds for future replanting. To address fluctuating market pricing between producers and traders, members from the entire cavy value chain were gathered for regular meetings, from livestock keepers to traders and consumers – 60% of them women. These “innovation platforms” were designed to revolutionize cavy production and marketing, ensuring that producers get a fair price for their produce and problems along the market access are ironed out. Innovation platforms have just obtained legal identity as associations and they already have active bank accounts – a major achievement in just 18 months. immediate host of the tapeworm, which can be spread to humans by eating undercooked pork. The “One Health” Increased Productivity and Reduced Risk in Pig Production and Market Chains Project teaches pig In Laos, improved forages are enhancing farmers about the pig management and reducing risk tapeworm cycle and health risks related to poor pig management as well as the potential for boosting profits by producing healthier animals in more hygienic conditions. Together with partners, including ILRI, intensive abattoir investigations, household surveys, and a six-month antibody vaccination are being implemented to address zoonotic diseases. This is paired with improved animal management and feeding, the introduction of high-quality feed, such as Stylosanthes guianensis and Aschynomene histrix, as well as improved cassava varieties, with tests underway to determine best intercropping practices. Innovation platforms are revolutionizing cavy production and marketing in the DRC Despite substantial progress, there are still obstacles to improving pig production systems. A focus on drug supply and vaccine cold chains is needed. And an awareness of the premium market potential of a regular supply of fat and healthy pigs, in addition to a functioning market chain from trader to farmer, will go a long way to helping farmers maximize their investment in pigs. We hope that further engagement with other partners will secure support to scale up such endeavors. Holistic health - don’t forget the consumer This pioneering health initiative in Laos tackles, among other diseases, cysticercosis in humans – cysts in muscles and the brain caused by the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium), which can lead to seizures or even death – while improving pig production, hygiene, and marketing. Pigs are the 6

Australia-funded projects CIAT Leader(s) Period US$ (in ‘000) Increased productivity and reduced risk in pig production and market chains Tassilo Tiemann 2010-2014 481 Developing improved farming and marketing systems in rainfed regions of southern Laos PDR Tassilo Tiemann 2009-2013 401 Profitable and sustainable nutrient management system for eastern and southern African farming systems Rolf Sommer 2013 153 The global impact of sown tropical grassland and forage plants Michael Peters 2011-2013 62 Harnessing husbandry of domestic cavy for alternative and rapid access to food and income in Cameroon and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo Brigitte Maass 2011-2013 210 Werner Stür & Tassilo Tiemann 2008-2011 143 Extension approaches to scaling out livestock production in northern Lao PDR Rod Lefroy 2007-2011 64 Forage legumes for supplementing village pigs in Lao PDR Werner Stür 2006-2008 203 Enhancing the adoption of improved cassava production and utilization systems in Indonesia and East Timor Reinhardt Howeler 2004-2007 160 Seeds of Life Reinhardt Howeler 2000-2003 49 Michael Peters 2002-2005 99 Integrated nutrient management in tropical cropping systems: Improved capabilities in modeling and recommendations Robert Delve 2003-2005 29 Developing forages with smallholder farmers: How to grow, manage and use forages Peter Kerridge 2001-2003 2 Peter Horne 2000-2005 1,132 Peter Kerridge 1995-1999 3,324 Project Name Improved feeding systems for more efficient beef cattle production Development of a knowledge system for the selection of forages for farming systems in the tropics and subtropics Forages and livestock systems project Forages for smallholders project - Phase II 7

Promise to partners Looking forward: developing joint visions Our research is carried out with the highest integrity and transparency, according to an agenda that is socially and environmentally responsible. CIAT’s research and related activities are demand driven, and monitored and evaluated for social and environmental impact and relevance. Innovation and creativity drive our research, taking into account gender and cultural diversity, and incorporating effective methods for knowledge sharing and learning to deliver lasting impact. CIAT’s work harnesses global expertise and partnerships to empower poor people to take control of their earning capacity. In line with Australia’s own vision to promote sound economic growth and global stability, CIAT looks forward to continuing its work with long-standing partners including the Australian government, and shedding light on today’s global challenges and solutions. The global reach of CIAT research Asia regional hub Headquarters Africa regional hub CIAT Contacts Ruben G. Echeverria Director General André Zandstra Head, Partnerships & Donor Relations Headquarters Km 17, Recta Cali-Palmira Apartado Aéreo 6713 Cali, Colombia Phone: +57 2 4450000 (direct), +1 650 8336625 (via USA) E-mail: Africa Regional Office c/o International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) Duduville Campus, off Kasarani Road CIAT Africa Coordination P Box 823-00621 .O. Nairobi, Kenya Phone: +254 20 8632800 or +254 721574967 Robin Buruchara E-mail: Asia Regional Office c/o Institute of Agricultural Genetics Pham Van Dong, Tu Liem Ha Noi, Vietnam Phone: +84-12-5826-2512 Rod Lefroy E-mail: 8 Photos: Neil Palmer (CIAT)

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