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CIAT Africa E-Bulletin
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September 2015
In this issue
Editorial, by Robin Buruchara
Special feature: CIAT in Africa - a brief history
News from our blog
Shamba Shape Up
New research products
Scientific publications

Welcome to our first e-newsletter from Africa 

by Robin Buruchara, Africa Regional Director
Over the last year I have met with many valued partners, donors and stakeholders to have expressed surprise when I explain the breadth of CIATs research and expertise in Africa. Therefore, in the interests of keeping you better informed of our work I have the pleasure of welcoming you to the first quarterly CIAT Africa e-newsletter. 
 
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Special feature - CIAT in Africa

The scene captured in this black and white photograph from March 1980 holds a special significance for CIAT. It was at this meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi, that CIAT's operations in Africa were first conceived. 
From humble beginnings in Rwanda (which led to major successes with climbing beans), CIATs presence on the continent has today grown to a staff of 160 spread across 10 countries and conducting research across 30, working with partners to reduce hunger and poverty through agriculture. 
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From our blog

Understanding Rwanda's puzzling nutrition paradox
CIAT and partners will soon launch a new report on the links between nutrition and agriculture in Rwanda. Read about the background to the report in this story published in April 2015:
Despite forward thinking agricultural policies, statistics reveal a puzzling paradox in Rwanda: agricultural intensification has not reduced stunting rates as anticipated. CIAT joined forces with the Rwanda Agriculture Board and partners to find out why.
Photo story: Busting soil myths in Tanzania
Farmers know that soil is a precious commodity. But in Babati district, northern Tanzania, a long held belief that mineral fertiliser spoils soils is preventing them from making informed decisions on how best to keep their soil healthy and increase their yields. Researchers from CIAT are challenging local beliefs and changing attitudes as they investigate best-bet affordable fertiliser options for maize as part of the USAID-funded Africa RISING. 
Bringing soils back to life – a conversation with Deborah Bossio
After decades of neglect soils research is on the brink of a renaissance as the world starts to recognise just how vital the ground beneath our feet is. Few are more enthusiastic about it than Dr. Deborah Bossio, the Area Director of Soils Research at CIAT. In an interview recorded as part of the WLE Thrive podcast series, Bossio talks about her passion for soil and the need for greater investment in research to inform knowledge intensive agriculture. 

Shamba Shape Up

This year CIAT sponsored 5 episodes of Shamba Shape Up – an east African farm-makeover reality TV show. The episodes, filmed in partnership with WLE and CCAFS, are part of our International Year of Soils 2015 activities to help farmers shape up their soilsView the latest episode here. For more information read our blog.

New research products 

The Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA), which is co-ordinated by CIAT, has accomplished a lot over the last few years. Find out just how much in this new infographic.
 
Bringing soils to life: for sustainable landscapes and prosperous societies - a new publication outlining the length and breadth of CIATs diverse Soils Research team. 

 
The combined effects of climate change, inequity, and population pressures are escalating the challenges faced by East Africa’s smallholder farmers. CIAT and CCAFS, in collaboration with many other partners, have developed a comprehensive set of tools, tailored to the region, to rapidly scale-up the adoption of CSA practices by smallholders for improved food and livelihood security and resilience to climate change. 
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Scientific publications

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