November, 2022 -. Dr. Eugenia Saini, Executive Secretary of FONTAGRO, took part in the lunch of C-FARM, the Carbon Farming Alliance for Research and Management, a multi-actor supported initiative seeking to study carbon sequestration in agriculture practice, in order to generate climate positive contributions and enhancing potential for soil quality improvement.
The project, led by Ohio State University, seeks to create impactful data on how carbon farming can be a useful tool in the fight against climate change, while improving soils and therefor, yield production. It is a $15 million initiative, that will impact farmers, land managers, extension personnel, policymakers, stakeholders, private sector, nongovernmental organizations and the public.
Since 2021, FONTAGRO, together with the Ministry of primary Industries of New Zealand, support the development of the project “Carbon sequestration opportunities in soils in Latin America and the Caribbean” being implemented in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Uruguay by 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. This initiative now joins the broader study on carbon farming, executed by Ohio State university, under the direction of Dr. Rattan Lal, awarded soil scientist.
“As it has been discussed in the region, we reinforce the idea that agriculture must be part of the solution about climate change; this of course, needs to be supported by science and this is where FONTAGRO enters as a facilitator between the knowledge generated in our region and the broader study. We stand for collaborative science, the implications are beneficial not only for our project, but we expect this to contribute to a better understanding on the science behind carbon farming through C-FARM”, says Saini.
The overall vision of the collaboration from FONTAGRO is to create synergies to promote science and innovation to cope with the climate challenges faced by the food and the agricultural sector. Since FONTAGRO’s project is developed in many countries, it serves to broaden the geographic scope of the project, along with the knowledges and experiences from investigators working in the sector for years.
Other collaborators on this initiative include 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.
FONTAGRO was created 1998 with the purpose of promoting the increase of the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and the reduction of poverty in the region. The objective of FONTAGRO is to establish itself as a sustainable financing mechanism for the development of agricultural technology and innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean and Spain, and to establish a forum for the discussion of priority topics of technological innovation. The member countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. In the last 21 years 167 regional agricultural innovation platforms have been co-financed for an amount of US $ 124 million, which has reached 452 institutions and 33 countries worldwide.