An agroforestry view on crop modelling

Global food and development policies are increasingly being supported by crop models, but current modelling approaches are unfit for this purpose. The models in use, many of which were developed in the 1970s and 1980s for high-input monoculture...

A holistic approach to improving development decisions

Research in agriculture seeks to generate new approaches or technologies that can be used to make a difference in farmers’ lives, and for the broader society. Well-designed technologies can have major positive impacts, as well as providing evidence...

The Soil Scientists’ Lament

It is true that the functions that soils provide and their degradation are not very visible to the public – what is happening to the soil underfoot is not as visible as say smog due to atmospheric pollution, or algal blooms caused by excess nutrients entering our water bodies.

Shining a light below the surface: digital soil maps support decision making

A healthy soil is one that can deliver the benefits, or ecosystem services, that we all depend on. Until recently, limited knowledge about soil health and degradation has been standing in the way of effective policies and interventions....

Rapid, low-cost technologies generate high-value soils information for planners and farmers

By Keith Shepherd A big, risky decision for smallholder farmers is what type and how much fertilizer to apply to their crops. There is lot of uncertainty about how the crops will respond, with a risk that the...

Beating Famine Conference seeks a bold vision for Southern Africa

More than 400 participants from 38 countries are gathered in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe on the opening day of the Beating Famine Southern Africa conference, a four-day event that is tackling the region’s widespread crisis of land degradation. “What...

soil, peanut plant

Soil is more than dirt

A gathering of experts organized by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment: Rapid Assessment argues that the management and amount of carbon in soils is critical to our wellbeing Carbon stored in soil in the form...

Replacing industrial fertilizers with legume trees: beans for thought?

Co-written by Todd Rosenstock and Kate Tully. Supplementing soils in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with nitrogen (N), an essential plant nutrient, through inorganic or organic fertilizers is essential for maintaining and increasing crop production, which is directly linked to...

ICRAF scientist joins global soil body’s advisory team

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) scientist Bertin Takoutsing has been nominated to an advisory board of the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS). He will serve on the board of the union’s commission on pedometrics. Bertin, an engineering graduate...

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