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Sustainable Intensification

Using context-specific, integrated approaches, CIMMYT studies and works with farmers to test and promote diverse agricultural practices. Minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotation techniques not only boost yields and protect soil quality and water availability — they also help farmers build resilience against climate shocks and stresses.

CIMMYT tests and adapts tools such as crop and system modeling, geographic information systems, remote sensing, scale-appropriate mechanization, and socioeconomic modeling. Through the lens of sustainable intensification, technical innovations are assessed not only for their potential to increase the productivity of a single commodity. We also take into account their impact on overall farm productivity, profitability, stability, production and market risks, resilience, as well as the interests and capacity of individual farmers to adopt those innovations.

Smallholder farming systems are diverse and complex. To promote the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, CIMMYT collaborates with national agricultural research and extension organizations, as well as other partners across the value chain, from farmers to companies.

CIMMYT’s sustainable intensification research aims to:

  • Increase the production of food, feed, fuel and/or fiber per unit of land, labor, and/or capital used.
  • Promote the preservation of important ecosystem services, including those governed by healthy soils.
  • Improve resilience to shocks and stresses, notably those induced by climate change.

Contact

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Bruno Gerard

Sustainable Intensification Program Director

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Irene Christiansen

Program Manager, Sustainable Intensification Program

Team members

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Frédéric Baudron

Systems Agronomist

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Peter Craufurd

Strategy and Project Leader

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Samuel Gameda

Soil Scientist

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M.L. Jat

Principal Scientist

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Timothy J. Krupnik

Senior Scientist and Systems Agronomist

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Santiago Lopez-Ridaura

Senior Scientist

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Isaiah Nyagumbo

Cropping Systems Agronomist

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Tek Sapkota

Agricultural Systems and Climate Change Scientist

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Christian Thierfelder

Senior Cropping Systems Agronomist

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Wei Xiong

Crop Modeler – Physiologist

Climate change
Features

Soil conservation means food security for farmers in Malawi.

Climate change
Features

Science offers opportunity to curb greenhouse gas emissions related to agriculture and meet climate goals.

Climate change
Infographics

A new series of infographics outlines the challenges that must be addressed in order to scale adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices in southern Africa.

Gender and social inclusion
Publications

Researchers identify national policies, climate and soil fertility changes, population increase, and urban expansion as the major drivers of farming systems change in the Hawassa area of Ethiopia.