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).
|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 »|
|Women farmers transform Sudan’s vegetable production with small-scale drip 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 »|
|Pulses for a Sustainable Future. An event to celebrate the International Year of Pulses (2016) took place this week at the Vienna International Centre. The year 2016 was declared the International Year of Pulses by the 68th UN General Assembly to help raise public awareness of the nutritional benefits and the role of pulses in sustainable food production. The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture organized this event to highlight the role of pulses in enhancing the sustainability of agricultural cropping systems. Read More / Watch Video »|
|How Nuclear Technology Helps Women Farmers in Sudan Move Out of Poverty. Using small scale drip irrigation system and information generated using nuclear techniques on crop water requirement, women farmers in rural Sudan were able to overcome water stress of growing vegetables. Read More »|
|Scientists Study Atoms in Soil to Find Ways to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Balancing how fertilizer, water and soil are used with agricultural crops has proven useful for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that drive climate change and global warming. But striking an optimal balance requires understanding how these factors are influenced by different soil and environmental conditions as well as farm management practices. To help chart out ways to do that, scientists are using isotopic techniques to develop scientifically-based guidance that helps countries reduce and mitigate GHG emissions. Read More »|
|Nuclear Techniques: A solution to minimize land degradation and save the soil!. Land degradation is a worldwide threat currently affecting 1.9 billion hectares globally that affects around 65% of the soil resources. Soil erosion is the main contributor (85%) to such land degradation with an economic cost of US $400 billion per year. To ensure sustainable agricultural management there is a clear need to quantify the magnitude of soil erosion and to determine in the landscape ‘source’ of land degradation which can be obtained by nuclear techniques of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) and Compound Specific Stable Isotopes (CSSI) ... Read More »|
|2015 Country Impacts Highlights. During the past years the SWMCN has been working closely with counterparts and colleagues in Member States to generate a series of success stories on the use of isotopic and nuclear techniques in soil, water and nutrient management. These stories are achievement from both IAEA’s Coordinated Research Projects as well as Technical Cooperation Projects, showcasing how nuclear and related technologies are transferred to Member States for peaceful uses and the impacts obtained. Read More »|
|Vienna Soil Declaration - “Soil matters for humans and ecosystems”. The world’s highly diverse and dynamic soils provide essential functions and services vital equally to
humans and ecosystems. This was the message at the celebration entitled “Achievements and Future Challenges” organised earlier this month by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) in
cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the IAEA. At the event, IYS participants proclaimed the ‘Vienna Soil Declaration: Soil matters
for humans and ecosystems’, which sets the framework for future research in soil science and links achievements to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and global
endeavours to combat climate change. It sends a strong message for The Future We Want.
Read More »