Soil - CIAT

Soils

About Us

About Soils

About Soils

Soils research is fundamental and multidisciplinary, addressing natural resource management issues from farm to landscape scales, with a strong focus on soil science. Our cross-cutting research links CIAT’s research in crop improvement and policy analysis to vital work on agricultural production systems across landscapes. We believe this integrated approach is essential for reducing hunger, while reversing land degradation and making agriculture climate smart.
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Land Degradation

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Land Degradation

Land degradation is widespread across the tropical world. Restoring soils and land is a central requirement for reducing hunger and poverty through sustainable growth in agriculture. CIAT works toward this end through research on soil and landscape health, ecosystem services, tradeoff modeling, and sustainable land management.
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Sustainable Intensification

sustainable_intensification

Sustainable Intensification

Tropical soils account for about 40% of the earth’s land area and support about the same proportion of the world population.  Given population growth and the limited amount of land available for agricultural expansion, intensifying agricultural production while maintaining important ecosystem functions are urgent imperatives. CIAT soil scientists contribute by helping to improve agricultural productivity, enhance nutrient-use efficiency, and apply more widely the concept of integrated soil fertility management.
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Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

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Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

More severe and variable weather together with growing uncertainty about the future climate pose major challenges for tropical agriculture worldwide and particularly for smallholder farmers. Convinced that soils research is critical for meeting the challenges, CIAT soil scientists are seeking ways to advance climate change adaptation and mitigation through improvements in soil management that heighten the resilience of production systems and enhance the provision of ecosystem services.
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Soils Blog

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Soils Research Area Blog

The Soils Blog is written by members of CIAT’s Soils Research Area, an interdisciplinary group conducting cross-cutting research that is central to CIAT’s mission of combating hunger and poverty by making agriculture more eco-efficient. CIATs soil scientists work across the tropics to alleviate land degradation, boost soil fertility, and make agriculture more climate smart.
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CGIAR Research Programs

Soils Research Programs

Soils in CGIAR Research Programs

CIAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. CGIAR advances major research programs, which focus the work of the Consortium’s 15 member centers on key development aims. CIAT soils research contributes importantly to these global programs.

Latest News

Costing the earth: who’s responsible?

Wielding a hammer, John Kabola steps back and surveys his day’s work. The quarry cut into the hills of Kenya’s Upper Tana watershed reveals deep layers of earth like a sliced cake. Quarry stones are in demand – the construction industry is thriving. That’s good news for Kabola, who has>
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Clues to improving farm productivity one agronomic survey at a time

Another step forward in addressing the yield gap What are the low hanging fruit in reducing yield gaps and enhancing food security? Well it may not be fruit, per se, but basic techniques farmers can practice. A new CIAT-led publication presents an agronomic survey methodology which does just that –>
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Research Updates

Soils Blog

Celebrating GIS technology

Researchers require – and generate – large quantities of data in their efforts to find solutions to pressing social, economic and developmental issues. The tools they use to facilitate their projects and programs and the people that use them are rarely celebrated or acknowledged. This is why in 1999 Ralph Nader decided>
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Overlooking the overlooked: the importance of micronutrients

By Job Kihara – CIAT Soil Scientist For years soil researchers have focused on the debilitating impact of major nutrient deficiencies (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, NPK) on crop production. But could agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) also be limited by a lack of secondary and micronutrients such as sulfur (S),>
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More news on the blog…

Publications


Nesper, Maike; Bünemann, Else K.; Fonte, Steven J.; Rao, Idupulapati Madhusudana; Velásquez, Jaime Enrique; Ramírez, Bertha; Hegglin, Django; Frossard, Emmanuel; Oberson, Astrid. 2014. Pasture degradation decreases organic P content of tropical soils due to soil structural decline . Geoderma. Article in press.  [Post-refereed manuscript]


Mekuria, Wolde; Noble, Andrew; Sengtaheuanghoung, Oloth; Hoanh, Chu Thai; Bossio, Deborah; Sipaseuth, Nivong; McCartney, Matthew; Lagan, Simon. 2014. Organic and clay-based soil amendments increase maize yield, total nutrient uptake, and soil properties in Lao PDR . Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 38:936-961.


Beebe, Stephen E.; Rao, Idupulapati Madhusudana; Jyostna Devi, Mura; Polania, José. 2014. Common beans, biodiversity, and multiple stresses  : challenges of drought resistance in tropical soils . Crop and Pasture Science 65: 667-675.


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