For IITA, Natural Resource Management, particularly on sustainable intensification of farming systems, is a priority that is becoming more and more essential. Climate change, unsustainable farming practices, poor and degraded soils–all contribute to low productivity of crops and farms.
Bringing farmland back to life
As part of this goal we aim to restore 7.5 million hectares of badly degraded farmlands by 2020. Through our sustainable development and restoration projects, we aim to transform traditional cultivation practices into those that are environmentally sustainable and more effective at managing precious natural resources. By creating better cropping practices that use fewer natural resources we secure farmers’ welfare by guaranteeing consistent crop yields, and at the same time safeguarding the environment for the future.
Using a livelihoods perspective, we look at soil biological processes, beneficial organisms and their mechanisms, management strategies, and soil input products to ensure effective nutrient-use. We develop best-fit integrated soil fertility management practices, including matching improved germplasm and technologies specific to farm niches and using farmers’ innovations and community-based planning to manage ecosystem services.
Focus on forests and fringes
IITA contributes to tropical rainforests protection and ongoing improvement through forestry projects and by implementing farming practices that work with nature rather than against it.
The overall health of the planet and its people relies on tropical rainforests around the world. The tropical rainforests of sub-Saharan Africa are unique in their biodiversity and beauty. They are rich in genetic resources that are vital to medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing.
Protecting the tropical rainforests and the fringes for the future is imperative to combating climate change and maintaining Africa’s irreplaceable biodiversity.