Rajesh Manoharan

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Postdoctoral Fellow, IITA, Nairobi, Kenya I was selected for a postdoctoral position for the project titled “Yam tissue culture and genetic transformation” under the guidance of Dr Leena Tripathi. I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to work with a successful research team at IITA that already has a good reputation on its work on developing transgenic banana and cassava … Read More

Renee Bullock

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Postdoc researcher, Humidtropics, IITA, Nairobi, Kenya As a gender researcher, it is my job to ensure that due consideration is given to the different ways in which individuals may experience constraints and opportunities to improve their lives. This involves mainstreaming gender in our projects and activities and ensuring that we generate evidence to demonstrate how interventions may influence men, women, … Read More

Jeroen Huising

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Senior Soils Scientist and Project Leader, SR4, IITA-Ibadan, Nigeria I joined IITA in March 2014 to lead a project to support soil health consortia in Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, basically to facilitate the scaling out of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM). Concurrently, I also lead a special initiative by IITA to establish a Soil Research-for-Development (SR4D) platform. … Read More

East Africa coffee: getting too hot to handle

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Chart showing Non-linear model of Arabica coffee yield in northern Tanzania regressed by minimum temperature, extrapolated to 18°C.

Do you know that rising night time temperatures might eventually lead to the disappearance of the world’s favorite hangover cure and morning kick-start brew? An IITA-led research has shown that elevated night time temperature is the most significant climatic variable responsible for diminishing Arabica coffee yields. The sensitive Coffea arabica berries need low temperatures to grow well and produce high-quality … Read More

Averting a chocolate meltdown in West Africa

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Picture of smallholders farmers

Demand for cocoa is increasing worldwide by 2-3% annually, particularly due to growing consumer demand in Asia. About 70% of the supply originates from West Africa where cocoa is produced primarily by smallholders with fields of less than 5 hectares. The smallholder yields are low (10-30% of potential) and highly variable with little use of external nutrient inputs. Traditionally, cocoa … Read More

Hotter climate making insects go bonkers?

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Crop insects and mites are tiny organisms that cannot regulate their own body temperature. Therefore, rising temperatures brought about by climate change are likely to have a strong effect on their functions and behaviors. To determine the impact of a hotter climate on – and consequent reaction of – insect or mite species of important crops in Africa, IITA researchers … Read More

The right information in the right hands

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Establishing and understanding existing knowledge, perceptions, and beliefs is the first logical step in designing any strategy. On the issue of agriculture in climate change, knowing what farmers know, believe, and perceive are vital prerequisites for key actors and decision makers to develop and implement relevant climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies that farmers will accept and apply. In 2014, … Read More

Investing in soils

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Picture of packing of NoduMax that conforms to international standards in terms of product labeling and shelf life

As outlined in our Refreshed Institutional Strategy 2012-2020, one of our missions is to redirect over 7.5 million hectares of underutilized, marginal, and degraded lands to more productive and sustainable use. This statement is a testament to the invaluable role that land – the soil – plays in reducing poverty and improving the lives of the people that we serve … Read More

The ‘Roots’ show the way

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Chart showing Figure 1. production increase (t)/farm at different intensities of adoption

In our Refreshed Institutional Strategy for 2012–2020 we commit ourselves to lifting 11 million Africans out of poverty and redirecting some 7 million hectares of underutilized, marginal, and degraded lands to more productive and sustainable use. To realize this, expanding investment in agricultural research and technology development and delivery is crucial. Agricultural research holds considerable potential for achieving broad-based technological … Read More

Saving the basin

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Chart showing cross-sectorial dialogue between the agricultural and conservation/forest communities

Within the Congo Basin, pressure on forests has resulted deforestation or forest degradation. Intensification of agriculture in the forest margins associated with appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks can reduce such pressures (Maertens et al. 2006). Within IITA’s natural resources management (NRM) research area, we have started engaging with conservation organizations and other development partners, such as the African Wildlife Foundation … Read More