CIAT’s Partnership with Germany: Reducing hunger and poverty while lessening agriculture’s ecological and climate footprint

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Information about CIAT’s Partnership with Germany: Reducing hunger and poverty while...
Investor Relations

Published on February 3, 2014

Author: CIAT



CIAT works through partnerships to mobilize high-quality scientific expertise for global efforts to reduce hunger and poverty, while also curbing environmental degradation and addressing climate change. In keeping with Germany’s strategy to achieve this end by promoting sustainable agriculture, CIAT works with a wide range of partners, including Germany’s government and institutions, to develop technologies, methods, and knowledge that offer more for people while taking less from the land.

Stewardship Report Achieving Food Security and Rural Prosperity across the Tropics CIAT’s Partnership with Germany: Reducing hunger and poverty while lessening agriculture’s ecological and climate footprint 1

CIAT’s Global Vision Sustainable intensification of tropical agriculture livelihoods and the welfare of whole societies depend. Our soils work also helps make agriculture climate smart, which is a central aim of our research on decision and policy analysis as well. About 870 million people around the world face chronic hunger, and more than 20% of the global population lives in extreme poverty. Strengthening the fight against hunger and poverty is thus an urgent imperative, especially in the tropics, where climate change, food price volatility, environmental degradation, weak policies and markets, and emerging pests and diseases pose dire threats to the livelihoods of the poor. CIAT’s policy research harnesses the power of information to influence actions concerning climate change adaptation and mitigation, equitable sharing of benefits from ecosystem services, and linking farmers to markets for higher rural incomes. Our experts on these issues include a growing team of gender specialists, who are working to mainstream gender in CIAT and CGIAR research agendas. At CIAT, we’re convinced that, while the challenges for tropical agriculture have grown since the Center first opened its doors in 1967, so have the opportunities to address them more effectively. In response, our scientists have developed a comprehensive array of scientific capacities that can bring sustainable agriculture within the reach of smallholder farmers. All of our research – integrating crops, soils, and policy – aims to make sustainable agriculture a reality for the three-quarters of the world’s poor and hungry who live in rural areas and depend on crop and livestock production for a living. The Center has a solid reputation for honesty, integrity, and transparency together with a wellestablished record of innovative, results-oriented research that creates tangible improvements in rural livelihoods. Aware that development impact cannot result from the efforts of one organization working alone, we take pride in our strong and growing partnerships with other research organizations as well as government ministries, civil society, and the private sector. Eco-efficiency – which lies at the heart of CIAT’s mission – is an important guiding principle for achieving sustainable intensification of smallholder production. To put this principle into practice, we promote competitive and profitable food production for reduced hunger and poverty, while helping lower agriculture’s environmental and climate footprint. Crop improvement is a key leverage point for bringing about those aims. CIAT conducts research globally on cassava, common bean, and tropical forages, as well as on rice in Latin America and the Caribbean. Critical for reducing hunger, these crops also offer wide scope for strengthening farmers’ market orientation and raising rural incomes. In addition, they present unique opportunities for enabling food production to cope with climate change. Through research on soil management and land restoration, the Center opens new pathways toward sustainable intensification of crop production, while improving the ecosystem services on which rural CIAT’s genebank safeguards the world’s largest collections of beans and cassava, as well as tropical forages 2

In Partnership with Germany A shared commitment to sustainable agriculture CIAT was an early innovator in CGIAR efforts to promote sustainable agriculture, and the Center has developed a comprehensive approach for advancing this work. We share the German government’s conviction that sustainable agriculture is central for achieving the dual aims of, first, reducing hunger and poverty and, second, improving natural resource management while also coming to grips with climate change in food production. Germany is a founding member of CGIAR and a longstanding supporter of CIAT research, with an abiding commitment to realizing the huge development potential of multipurpose tropical forages and responding to growing concerns about the impacts of climate change in agriculture. The German government’s ongoing investment in CIAT research on tropical forages has proved to be especially productive. A large and growing body of scientific evidence indicates that these diverse plant species may hold the key to a rare triple win for development. Well-managed forages grasses and legumes show tremendous potential to (1) provide growing numbers of urban consumers with affordable livestock products, while (2) boosting rural incomes through increased livestock productivity and (3) contrary to much negative publicity on livestock, creating significant environmental benefits, including contributions to climate change mitigation. In recent years, Germany has also shown much-needed global leadership in raising public awareness about the importance of halting soil and land degradation, as demonstrated by the Global Soil Forum and Global Soil Week. These efforts are catalyzing valuable knowledge exchange as part of a global approach to achieving sustainable soil management. We’re grateful to the Government of Germany for its generous and steadfast support of CIAT research through BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development). We also value our productive global collaboration with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and the vital contribution of CIM (Centre for International Migration and Development) in providing top-quality scientific expertise to carry key initiatives forward. Transformative technologies to cultivate change The Center’s advanced scientific capacity is a valuable resource for addressing challenges and opportunities in tropical agriculture. Headquartered in Colombia, CIAT has regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hanoi, Vietnam, with networks of scientists and partners conducting high-quality research across Latin America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. Our global team effectively contributes to the reduction of hunger and poverty, while providing global leadership and expertise to curb the degradation of natural resources and make agriculture part of the solution to global climate change. Over the last several decades, CIAT scientists and their partners have shown a consistent talent for innovative agricultural research, which blends formal science with local knowledge to create a diverse portfolio of genuinely transformative technologies. Many of our products lead to farreaching, beneficial changes in crop production, agricultural value chains, major production systems, rural landscapes, and policies that shape smallholder farmers’ options and decisions. 3

Impact of German Investments Grassroots action for environmental and livelihood benefits emissions and leaching, around half of the nitrogen fertilizer applied annually (with an estimated global value of US$90 billion) is essentially wasted. By suppressing nitrification, new grass hybrids can thus deliver enormous environmental benefits while also boosting crop and livestock productivity through more efficient fertilizer use. Recent trials showed, for example, that a maize crop grown after B. humidicola can give good yields with only half the amount of fertilizer normally applied. A powerful biochemical mechanism, which operates in the roots of a tropical grass (Brachiaria humidicola), appears to offer agriculture its best bet for mitigating climate change. Field research has shown that the mechanism suppresses soil nitrification – the microbiological process by which nitrogen from fertilizer is converted into nitrous oxide, the most potent greenhouse gas. To begin reaping the environmental and economic benefits of this improved grass on a large scale, researchers are working on several fronts with German support. Forage grass breeders are developing superior B. humidicola hybrids and seeking to accelerate hybrid selection through the use of molecular markers. In a major scientific breakthrough, CIAT collaborators discovered several years ago, the chemical substance responsible for this phenomenon. Now, with German support, the Center and its partners, including Universität Hohenheim, have advanced to the “proof-ofconcept” stage and are laying the groundwork for large-scale development and dissemination of B. humidicola hybrids. At the same time, scientists are using participatory methods to evaluate the B. humidicola hybrids already available with smallholder farmers in Colombia and Nicaragua. Together, they’re learning how best to integrate the hybrids into crop-livestock systems. In addition, the researchers are using advanced simulation models and economic analysis to project where the new hybrids can be profitably introduced. In addition to generating nitrous oxide emissions, nitrification results in the leaching of nitrate, a major pollutant, into groundwater. As a result of the The scope for integrating these materials into crop-livestock systems is quite large, especially in Latin America, where various Brachiaria grass species are already the main feed resource for livestock production. Since B. humidicola hybrids offer the advantage of performing well on infertile soils, they should appeal to large numbers of smallholders across Latin America as well as in sub-Saharan Africa and upland areas of Southeast Asia. New grass hybrids deliver enormous environmental benefits while also boosting crop and livestock productivity through more efficient fertilizer use 4

The novel Quesungual agroforestry system has helped restore degraded agroecosystems in Honduras Scaling up success to restore degraded landscapes improved through the introduction of droughttolerant crop varieties and improved tropical forages. A major challenge now is to accelerate the spread of new systems like Quesungual to help curb widespread land degradation throughout the tropics, resulting from unsustainable practices like slash-and-burn agriculture and livestock overgrazing. Another major focal point for South-South knowledge exchange with German support consists of novel agroforestry and silvopastoral systems. These combine crops with multipurpose trees and in the latter case with forages for livestock as well. Recent successes with such systems in Latin America show that they are highly effective for restoring degraded agroecosystems, with substantial benefits for rural people and the environment. CIAT soil scientists and their partners have taken up this challenge with German support through a project aimed at restoring agricultural landscapes in areas of Nicaragua and Paraguay that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The Quesungual slash-and-mulch agroforestry system, for example – a product of farmer-led innovation in southwest Honduras – has improved rural livelihoods through higher and more stable crop yields, while also making smallholder production more resilient in the face of extreme weather. The system has other benefits for ecosystem services as well, such as carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation. Quesungual has been taken up in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and the system is being further Operating across scales – from individual farms to whole rural landscapes – scientists are devising strategies to overcome barriers to the adoption of agroforestry systems and adapt them to diverse local conditions. The project is also creating tools to identify areas where successfully adapted systems can be taken up more widely. Since this requires not just technological change but institutional innovations, CIAT scientists are working closely with a wide range of national research partners and NGOs to achieve major development impact. 5

Intellectual capital for development value like the Brachiaria hybrids described earlier. This is especially vital for accelerating the development of superior new hybrids through the use of advanced techniques from molecular biology and phenomics. Scientists are also facilitating the spillover of benefits from new grass hybrids to Africa, where Brachiaria originated. In addition, GIZ and CIM have contributed significant expertise on livestock production and nutrition. As a result, we’re reaching larger numbers of farmers more quickly. The ability of CIAT’s research to deliver on the promise of sustainable agriculture in the tropics depends on many factors, but none is more important than the quality of our scientific staff. For that reason, one of Germany’s most important contributions to the Center’s work consists of the intellectual capital represented by German-funded Masters and PhD students and staff working in key positions. The Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) has placed a number of technical experts and managers with CIAT globally. These scientists play vital roles in our efforts to advance impact-oriented research. German collaboration has been critical, for example, in building CIAT’s capacity to analyze and help smallholders prepare for the expected impacts of climate change in major agricultural value chains, particularly in Central America. Scientific talent funded by Germany is also driving the implementation of transformative technologies Peter Laderach (right) of the CIM program lifts the lid on the impacts of climate change on coffee production in Colombia CIM Staff at CIAT Period Program Mario Cuchillo February 2013 - November 2014 Returning Expert on Forages Jacobo Arango August 2012 - August 2015 Returning Expert on Forages Peter Laderach November 2008 - October 2014 Integrated Expert on Decision and Policy Analysis Monica Carvajal June 2012 - June 2014 Returning Expert on Biotechnology Birthe Paul May 2012 - October 2013 Integrated Expert on Forages Rolf Wachholtz February 2012 - February 2014 Integrated Expert on Land Use, Ecosystems, and Climate Change Brigitte Maass April 2009 - July 2014 Integrated Expert on Forages Siriwan Martens March 2007 - March 2013 Integrated Expert on Forages Ringenerus Van der Hoek November 2006 - November 2012 Integrated Expert on Forages 6

Germany-funded projects Project Name CIAT Leader(s) Period US$ (in ‘000) Addressing the challenges of smallholder farming communities Aracely Castro 2013-2016 1,063 Trade-offs and synergies in climate change adaptation and mitigation in coffee and cocoa systems Peter Laderach 2013-2016 131 Climate-smart crop-livestock systems for smallholders in the tropics: Integration of new forage hybrids to intensify agriculture and to mitigate climate change through regulation of nitrification in soil Idupulapati Rao 2012-2015 1,210 Dry season forages to improve the livelihoods of smallholders in Eastern Africa Brigitte Maass 2011-2013 27 Climate protection and energy in Latin America and the Caribbean (Phase II) Andy Jarvis 2013 22 Unrestricted contribution from Germany to the maintenance of the genetic resources collection Daniel Debouck 2013 520 Climate protection and energy in Latin American and the Caribbean Terra I Guyana Louis Reymondin 2012-2013 31 Analysis of vulnerability of crops and ecosystem services to climate change and adaptation measures, in the Sierra Madre Oriental (Mexico) Marcela Quintero Tabares 2011-2012 103 Predicting the impact of climate change on the adaptability of the main cocoa growing regions of Nicaragua Peter Laderach 2011-2012 15 More chicken and pork in the pot, and money in the pocket: Improving forages for monogastric animals with low-income farmers Michael Peters 2009-2012 904 Proagro Peter Laderach 2011 20 Coffee and climate change program Peter Laderach 2011 78 Sustainable palm oil production in Thailand Andy Jarvis 2010 45 Study on the potential impacts of climate change on land use in the Lao PDR Andy Jarvis 2009 36 Fighting drought and aluminum toxicity: Integrating functional genomics phenotypic screening and participating research with women and smallscale farmers to develop stress-resistant common bean and Brachiaria for the tropics Idupulapati Rao 2006-2009 1,068 Develop adaptability maps of coffee under the influence of climate change in Peru, Nicaragua, and Mexico Peter Laderach 2008 26 Understanding and catalyzing learning-selection processes of multi-purpose forage based technologies in Central America with a focus on dry season options and farmer-led seed systems Michael Peters 2005-2008 240 7

Promise to partners Looking forward: developing joint visions Our innovative research is carried out with the highest integrity and transparency, according to an agenda that is socially and environmentally responsible. We monitor and evaluate the impacts of all our programs to bolster meaningful knowledge sharing and learning. CIAT’s research and related endeavors are demand driven, harnessing creativity and incorporating environmental sustainability, gender equality, and policy and institutional considerations into our activities. CIAT ensures that donor investments lead to tangible results for the world’s most vulnerable people. CIAT works through partnerships to mobilize highquality scientific expertise for global efforts to reduce hunger and poverty, while also curbing environmental degradation and addressing climate change. In keeping with Germany’s strategy to achieve this end by promoting sustainable agriculture, CIAT works with a wide range of partners, including Germany’s government and institutions, to develop technologies, methods, and knowledge that offer more for people while taking less from the land. The global reach of CIAT research Asia regional hub Guyana CIAT headquarters Africa regional hub Swaziland Lesotho CIAT Contacts 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 72 1574967 Robin Buruchara - 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: Asia Regional Office c/o Institute of Agricultural Genetics Pham Van Dong, Tu Liem Ha Noi, Vietnam Phone: +84-12-5826-2512 Rod Lefroy - 8 Photos: Neil Palmer (CIAT)

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