Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition

Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition

The Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition (SWMCN) Section of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme and its associated SWMCN Laboratory assist FAO and IAEA Member States in the development, validation and dissemination of a range of soil, water and crop management technology packages through the use of nuclear and nuclear-related techniques.

The aims are:
→ To enhance agricultural productivity, ensure the conservation of soil and water resources for sustainable crop and livestock production systems and to improve farmers' livelihoods.
→ To improve soil quality and soil resilience against impacts of climate change and variability.
→ To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase soil carbon sequestration in both productive and marginal lands.

To achieve these aims, we assist Member States through research and development (R&D), capacity building with a major emphasis on training the trainers, policy advice, technology transfer and technical support and assistance via Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs) and Technical Cooperation Projects (TCPs).

Highlights
Stable Nitrogen Isotopes and Low-Cost Irrigation Technologies Help Scientists Optimize Crop and Water Productivity in Cameroon Stable Nitrogen Isotopes and Low-Cost Irrigation Technologies Help Scientists Optimize Crop and Water Productivity in Cameroon. Scientists, field and laboratory technicians from Cameroon have been trained to carry out field trials to identify crops with high biological nitrogen fixation, and high nitrogen and water use, during a two-week course in Yaoundé. Read More »
Isotopic Technique Helps Benin Farmers Triple Yields and Improve Livelihoods Isotopic Technique Helps Benin Farmers Triple Yields and Improve Livelihoods. Poor soil fertility was a major factor hindering farmers in Benin to produce good crops. Chemical fertilizers are too expensive to afford. The inclusion of legumes such as soybean and groundnuts that helps to capture nitrogen from the air, have helped farmers triple their yields. Read More »
Cambodian Researchers Use Isotopic Technique to Help Farmers Increase Yields and Revenues Cambodian Researchers Use Isotopic Technique to Help Farmers Increase Yields and Revenues. Poorer farmers who cannot afford to buy enough fertilizer can achieve high yields by using more manure and compost and planting alternative crops between rice growing seasons, Cambodia’s agricultural researchers have found. Their recommendations are the result of research supported by the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), using nuclear-related techniques to measure fertilizer and water uptake by rice and other crops. Read More »
Amid obstacles, Central African Republic Opts for Progress with Nuclear Technology Amid obstacles, Central African Republic Opts for Progress with Nuclear Technology. After years of insecurity and internal strife, authorities and scientists from the Central African Republic are again turning to nuclear and nuclear-related techniques for development. From increasing soil fertility to developing improved plant varieties and understanding their water resources, they are now picking up speed. Read More »
Benin Farmers Inoculate Their Legumes to Improve Soil Fertility and Yield Benin Farmers Inoculate Their Legumes to Improve Soil Fertility and Yield. The farmers of Benin constantly struggle with poor soil fertility which requires them to use expensive fertilizers in order to have a good crop yield – fertilizers that they often cannot afford. But now, through work supported by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, more than 5 000 farmers have been trained to improve their soil fertility by inoculating their legume crops – inoculating them with a dose of bacteria needed to facilitate the process of nitrogen fixation. Read More »
Stable Nitrogen Isotope Helps Scientists Optimize Water, Fertilizer Use Stable Nitrogen Isotope Helps Scientists Optimize Water, Fertilizer Use. Experts in a growing number of countries are using a nuclear technique to help farmers increase crop yields, optimize fertilizer use and evaluate varieties of rice, cereals and vegetables for their efficiency in making the best use of fertilizers and adapt agriculture practices to changing climate conditions. Read More »
World Soil Day: Madagascar Combats Soil Erosion with Tradition and Nuclear Science World Soil Day: Madagascar Combats Soil Erosion with Tradition and Nuclear Science. An age-old agricultural method is helping to combat soil degradation and protect a source of food and income for more than 75% of the population in Madagascar. Using isotopic techniques, scientists working with the IAEA, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), found that traditional terrace farming can reduce soil erosion and run-off on mountainous land by up to 40%. Read More »
Improving Sudan’s Vegetable Production with Small-scale Irrigation Technologies Improving Sudan’s Vegetable Production with Small-scale Irrigation Technologies. Agriculture is the principal source of income and livelihoods for 60 to 80 percent of the population of Sudan, where 90 percent of arable land is rainfed. Climate change and rainfall variability, water scarcity and the inaccessibility of other water sources regularly contribute to crop failures. Women farmers in the Kassala region, the breadbasket of Sudan, are now introducing family-scale drip irrigation systems to overcome water stress and to ensure a more sustainable vegetable production. Read More »

Previous Highlights