A global collaboration effort is taking place to develop and implement climate-smart farming solutions, with a $15 million study on the potential of soil management practices to mitigate climate change.
Aug 26th, WASHINGTON- Loyal with its compromise to support collaborative science in action, FONTAGRO is part of $15 million project seeking to measure how much organic and inorganic carbon gets sequestered in the soil under different farming practices in key regions across the western hemisphere. Carbon farming optimizes carbon capture by implementing practices that are known to improve the rate at which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and stored in plant material or soil organic matter. The project is titled “Enhanced Soil Carbon Farming as a Climate Solution”.
The project will be led by The Ohio State University and it represents the effort of Washington, D.C.-based Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, Ohio State and project co-sponsors and collaborators including the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Bayer U.S. – Crop Science, Microsoft, Cotton Incorporated, Corteva, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Soybean Association, Kansas Corn, United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Sorghum Producers, Utah Department of Agriculture & Food, Kansas State University, Michigan State University and Utah State University. The project will also be supported through scientific collaborations with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Sandia National Laboratories, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Agricultural Research Institute of Uruguay. Further project support is provided by Ohio State’s Office of Research, Graduate School, and the CFAES Office for Research and Graduate Education.
“Carbon sequestration in the organic matter of soils used for agriculture is a viable option to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) and to increase the resilience of these systems to climate change. Our commitment as an organization is to contribute to science-based solutions to support the farmers in our region. This collaboration is a huge achievement as it involves an enormous effort of several institutions trying to find integrative responses that include agriculture as a part of the solution”, said Dr. Eugenia Saini, FONTAGRO’s Executive Secretary.
FONTAGRO’s project “Soil carbon sequestration opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean” is found by FONTAGRO and the Ministry of Primary Industries from New Zealand. It was approved last October 2021, and it will be implemented in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Uruguay. In this project, agricultural national research institutes (INTA Argentina, INIA Chile, INTA Costa Rica, INIA Uruguay, Agrosavia Colombia) together with the Alliance Bioversity International – CIAT and the Ministry of Agriculture from Argentina and Uruguay will be working on identifying strategies and opportunities for increasing soil carbon sequestration by testing different land uses and management. This constitutes a big step in quantifying stocks of carbon sequestration in Latin American soils.
This regional technical cooperation project promotes an international scientist network, led by Veronica Ciganda, with the participation of Maria Virgina Pravia, both from Uruguay, Luis Fernando Chávez Oliveros and Miguel Andres Arango Argoti from Colombia, Javier Salazar Sperberg from Chile, Marcelo Beltran from Argentina, Segio Abarca Monge and Francisco Arguedas Acuña from Costa Rica, and Jesús Quintana García y Louis Verchot from the Alliance Bioversity International -CIAT.
The Ministry of Primary Industries from the Government of New Zealand, through the Global Research Alliance (GRA), has helped to strengthen international scientific networks in Latin America for climate change adaptation and mitigation, since a decade ago. Today, we can confirm the success of this support by looking at the number of scientists, initiatives and technologies under validation to cope with this global challenge of increasing sustainability and resilience.
On the other hand, OSU’s project will take place on farms in Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Kansas, Utah, Arizona, and South America. Study sites will be chosen to represent a range of crops, climates, soil types, input levels of water and fertilizer, farming systems, and ecological regions.
This project will generate knowledge on how to strengthen the adoption of soil organic carbon enhancing practices by farmers and how to increase the recognition of the importance of those practices by the private sector, policy makers and the general public.