Soils - CIAT
  • soil-fertility-gsmith

    About soils research

    CIAT has worked steadily and strategically to improve soil management over several decades. Our research has achieved key advances. We mobilize the expertise and knowledge needed to achieve sustainable and climate-smart management of rural land, and to unlock its potential for delivering greater economic and social benefits.
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  • soil-erosion-gsmith

    Restoring degraded land

    The cost of land degradation worldwide has reached US$490 billion, according to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), far higher than the cost of reversing it. The only affordable response is to invest in land restoration, which has the potential to create benefits for millions of rural households in developing countries and everyone who relies on the ecosystem services that farm families help maintain.
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  • siembra_peru_blog

    Soils and climate change

    Agriculture contributes significantly to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions, which result to a large degree from soil processes. Climate change further undermines agricultural production by putting greater pressure on soils. Better soil management is thus critical for enabling agriculture to both mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts.
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  • about-soils-gsmith

    Sustaining soil fertility and health

    Reversing the decline of soil fertility and health is critical for achieving sustainable intensification of crop production, which is a key requirement for ensuring future food security. A key starting point for research to achieve this end is the application of cost-effective diagnostic techniques, as well as agronomic surveys, trade-off analysis, participatory evaluation, and on-farm trials and demonstrations.
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  • soil-toolbox-gsmisth

    The soil science toolbox

    Since tropical landscapes and the socio-economic circumstances of those who manage them vary quite widely, CIAT scientists work with local partner organizations and farmers to develop targeted solutions to soil and land degradation. For this purpose, they draw on a wide array of tools and methods.
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  • soil-climate-change-gsmith

    The AfNet Platform

    Established in 1989 as the implementing arm of the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility institute of CIAT (TSBF-CIAT), AfNet is now the partnership arm of CIAT Soils Research Area in Africa. AfNet’s overall goal is to strengthen and sustain stakeholder’s capacity to generate, share and apply soil research knowledge to improve the welfare of farming communities in Africa.
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  • soils_blog

    CIAT Blog

    To radically alter current patterns of soil and land degradation, CIAT has broadened the scope of its soils research to encompass not only individual farm plots but entire landscapes across the tropics.
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Latest News

Science to Cultivate Change

Tropical grasses: feed and plumber

The pastures that cattle graze also act as their “toilets”. This is because as cattle eat grass they periodically urinate and therefore randomly deposit urine on the soil surface.>

An ecosystems approach to the SDGs in Africa: why we need to listen to farmers

To address all the SDG’s, we’re going to need to think like farmers. That means taking a systems approach that includes all kinds of agro-ecological farm systems. This mantra echoed through all the sessions at the Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference: Ecosystem Services for SDGs in Africa. Goals, 2, 5, 6,>

Sink more carbon in the soil? It’s not that easy

Today, December 5th, is World Soil Day. It comes hot on the heels of recent events like the Global Landscapes Forum and 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Morocco, which have galvanized the world to act with urgency on the Paris Agreement on climate change. Sinking more carbon>

Knowledge and information for development: A new vision for Nicaragua’s smallholder cocoa farms

A new decision-making toolkit is leading smallholder cocoa farmers, technicians and local organizations in Nicaragua through a learning journey on their farms, providing ways to plan interventions and track progress.>
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