ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH CENTERS' SOIL LABORATORIES IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT uri icon

abstract

  • The worldwide network of 16 research centers of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) focuses on research, training, education, and capacity-building with the goal of poverty alleviation through increased production, economic development, and environmental protection in the poorer countries of the world. The centers work in partnership with the national agricultural research systems as well as advanced research institutions. The pillars of their research are germplasm enhancement and natural resource management. The soil laboratory is fundamental to such research endeavors, involving analysis of soils as a basis for soil characterization, identifying nutrient constraints, and establishing criteria for fertilizer application and efficient nutrient use, along with water, plant, and fertilizer analysis. The soil laboratory backstops both basic and applied research. Most CGIAR centers' laboratories have a training function for their region's national programs, and are involved in networks to upgrade analytical standards and maintain quality output. Many laboratories also host students from regional universities for their graduate research. There is a need for an increased role for laboratory analysis in the future research and development programs of the international centers. However, inherent weaknesses in the system will have to be addressed, as well as improved staff training, centralization of analytical services, automation, and quality assurance. There will also be a shift in the types of analysis as research programs place more emphasis on environment rather than traditional soil fertility concerns.
  • The worldwide network of 16 research centers of the ConsultativeGroup for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) focuses onresearch, training, education, and capacity-buildingwith the goalofpoverty alleviation through increased production, economicdevelopment,andenvironmental protectionin the poorer countriesof the world. The centers work in partnership with the nationalagricultural research systems as well as advanced research institutions. The pillars of their research aregermplasm enhance-mentandnatural resource management. The soil laboratory isfundamental to such research endeavors, involving analysis of soilsas a basis for soil characterization, identifying nutrient constraints,and establishing criteria for fertilizer application and efficientnutrient use, along with water, plant, and fertilizer analysis. The soillaboratory backstops both basic and applied research. Most CGIARcentersâ?? laboratories have atraining functionfor their regionâ??snational programs, and are involved in networks to upgradeanalytical standards and maintain quality output. Many laboratoriesalso host students from regional universities for their graduateresearch. There is a need for an increased role for laboratory analysisin the future research and development programs of the internationalcenters. However, inherent weaknesses in the system will have to beaddressed, as well as improved staff training, centralization ofanalytical services, automation, and quality assurance. There willalso be a shift in the types of analysis as research programs placemore emphasis on environment rather than traditional soil fertilityconcerns

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002
  • 2002