Posts Tagged ‘Agriculture’

New Book in the Library: Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution in Agriculture

Posted by Jose Juan Caballero on , in New Acquisitions

Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution in Agriculture

Edited by Pamela Matson

ISBN: 978-1-59726-525-6

Seeds of Sustainability is a groundbreaking analysis of agricultural development and transitions toward more sustainable management in one region. An invaluable resource for researchers, policymakers, and students alike, it examines new approaches to make agricultural landscapes healthier for both the environment and people.

The Yaqui Valley is the birthplace of the Green Revolution and one of the most intensive agricultural regions of the world, using irrigation, fertilizers, and other technologies to produce some of the highest yields of wheat anywhere. It also faces resource limitations, threats to human health, and rapidly changing economic conditions. In short, the Yaqui Valley represents the challenge of modern agriculture: how to maintain livelihoods and increase food production while protecting the environment.

Assessing impacts of maize research through a livelihoods lens: findings and lessons from the hill regions of Mexico and Nepal

Posted by on , in Journal Articles

Published in Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 27(3): 233-245

Assessing impacts of maize research through a livelihoods lens: findings and lessons from the hill regions of Mexico and Nepal

La Rovere, Roberto; Mathema, Sudarshan; Dixon, John; Mercado, Pedro Aquino; Gurung, Kamala

A livelihood approach to impact assessment (IA), by integrating livelihood and economic analyses, permits a more comprehensive assessment than does conventional IA. CIMMYT recently completed two studies on the impacts of maize research in the hill regions of Mexico and Nepal to assess the impacts of this research, examine changes in farmers’ livelihoods that resulted from the research projects and learn how such investments can have more impact in the future. This paper compares and contrasts the methodologies and results of the two studies, arriving at the key lessons on the impacts of research and of the international public goods generated, and on what was learned so as to better target and enhance maize research to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the future.

New book in the library: Mycotoxins: Detection methods, management, public health and agricultural trade

Posted by on , in New Acquisitions

9781845930820Mycotoxins are produced worldwide by several fungi on a wide range of agricultural commodities and are closely related to human and animal food chains. Examining mycotoxins and their impact from a public health viewpoint, this book provides an overview and introduction to the subject and examines the health, trade and legislation issues involved. Management of mycotoxins is discussed in detail as well as the global problems caused by mycotoxins.

 Main Contents
  • Health & Trade Issues
  • Mycotoxin Contamination and Toxigenic Fungi in Africa and the Mediterranean Basin
  • Mycotoxin Detection Methods
  • Mycotoxin Management
  • Institutional Issues in Mycotoxin Management
  • International Programs on Mycotoxins

Available in Google Books

New article from CIMMYT – Estimating maize genetic erosion in modernized smallholder agriculture

Posted by on , in Journal Articles

Published in Theoretical and Applied Genetics 119(5): 875-888 (2009)

Estimating maize genetic erosion in modernized smallholder agriculture

Joost van Heerwaarden, J. Hellin, R. F. Visser and F. A. van Eeuwijk

Abstract: Replacement of crop landraces by modern varieties is thought to cause diversity loss. We studied genetic erosion in maize within a model system; modernized smallholder agriculture in southern Mexico. The local seed supply was described through interviews and in situ seed collection. In spite of the dominance of commercial seed, the informal seed system was found to persist. True landraces were rare and most informal seed was derived from modern varieties (creolized). Seed lots were characterized for agronomical traits and molecular markers. We avoided the problem of non-consistent nomenclature by taking individual seed lots as the basis for diversity inference. We defined diversity as the weighted average distance between seed lots. Diversity was calculated for subsets of the seed supply to assess the impact of replacing traditional landraces with any of these subsets. Results were different for molecular markers, ear- and vegetative/flowering traits. Nonetheless, creolized varieties showed low diversity for all traits. These varieties were distinct from traditional landraces and little differentiated from their ancestral stocks. Although adoption of creolized maize into the informal seed system has lowered diversity as compared to traditional landraces, genetic erosion was moderated by the distinct features offered by modern varieties.

New book in the library: Biosaline Agriculture and High Salinity Tolerance

Posted by on , in New Acquisitions

cda_displayimageA major threat to agricultural productivity worldwide is undoubtedly due to environments with stressful factors including drought, salinity, waterlogging, extreme temperatures, non-optimal levels of mineral nutrients etc. Based on contributions presented at the International Conference on Biosaline Agriculture and High Salinity Tolerance in November 2006 in Gammarth, Tunisia, this book reviews the current state of knowledge in biosaline agriculture and high salinity tolerance in plants. It mainly focuses on the biotic approach to economically utilize the stress-prone areas by growing resistant plants.

This volume comprises three sections: physiology and biochemistry, ecology, and molecular biology. Thus, a systematic approach has been adopted to uncover plant responses to various ecological factors at physiological and molecular levels.

It is of interest to students, researchers and professionals in plant physiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, agriculture, soil science, and environmental biology.

New book in the library: Search for new genes

Posted by Petr Kosina on , in New Acquisitions

Search for new genes. (2007) by VL Chopra, RP Sharma, SR Bhat and BM Prasanna. Academic Foundation, New Delhi.

Among the editors/contributors are also listed: K. Pixley, L. Badstue and D. Bergvinson.

search-for-new-genesRecent progress in molecular biology and biotechnology is impacting the life sciences as well as the lives of people in unprecedented ways. Plant genetic transformation and molecular marker technologies have led to a paradigm shift in plant genetic resource management and crop improvement. Granting patent protection to genes has not only provided incentive for gene discovery and placed monetary value on germplasm resources, but also raised concerns about ownership and access to genetic resources. This book is an outcome of the presentations made during Dr. B.P. Pal Birth Centenary Symposium organized by the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), New Delhi, India, in February 2006. It begins with the commemorative lectures, which trace the evolution of approaches to the search for new genes in the last seven decades, since the seminal article written by Dr. B.P. Pal on the ‘Search for new genes’ in 1936. The book provides a comprehensive update of the modern biotechnological options for biodiversity management, gene prospecting, development of ‘designer crops’ and bioremediation. The power of molecular genetics in dissection of complex biological processes, and the potential utility of the knowledge that links genes to metabolic pathways and phenotypes for plant improvement are highlighted. The book covers strategies for harnessing the community and individual knowledge for genetic resource management and gene discovery, and presents models for benefit sharing and participatory plant breeding. Written by eminent experts in the field, the book shall be of significant interest not only to the academic and research community worldwide, but also to the policy makers and science administrators.

New CGIAR science council publication “Aligning Global Agricultural Research Investments with National Development Activities: The CGIAR Experience”

Posted by Petr Kosina on , in CGIAR Publications

by Jock R. Anderson, CGIAR Secretariat, World Bank, Washington, DC. (


  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Extended summary
  3. Introduction
    1. Rationale for this study
    2. Background on the CGIAR
    3. Conceptual setting and structure of the study
  4. Successful CGIAR implementation at the country level
    1. Applied research in action: A livestock case in point
    2. Expanding the research agenda: Integrated natural resource management
    3. International program participation in risk management and rebuilding
    4. Engagement with international health programs
    5. The Green Revolution: Not to be forgotten
    6. New green revolutions in the making
    7. Making the best use of scarce resources 30
  5. Views from CGIAR country partners
  6. CGIAR in less-than-ideal country implementation
    1. Stagnation in sub-Saharan Africa
    2. An emerging success story in SSA: The NERICA family of rice cultivars
  7. Lessons from success and failure in aligning CGIAR and country programs: Main conclusions
    1. Alignment domains from figure 1
    2. Other factors beyond the domains of figure 1
  8. Conclusion: Toward better implementation
  9. References
  10. Annex 1. Key findings on CGIAR links to World Bank operations
  11. Annex 2. Earlier findings from a country partner perspective