Soils, Cross-Cutting: Phase 1

Lead Organization:

Colorado State University Foundation

Community of Practice:





Intensification of smallholder agriculture has led to widespread soil degradation and a loss of SOM and associated soil-based ecosystem services that support smallholder farmers around the globe.  While a number of projects within the CCRP and beyond have promoted technologies that should benefit SOM and support soil quality in the long-term, few have adequately evaluated the impacts of promoted technologies on soils.  Because SOM and the tradeoffs that govern its management are closely linked with access to resources and socio-economic wellbeing, SOM serves as a valuable indicator to assess the sustainability of different agroecological intensification options.  Additionally, given soil’s importance to agricultural livelihoods across diverse contexts, soil quality and associated ecosystem services represent a cross-cutting theme for the entire CCRP program.  Our project will enhance CCRP support for improved SOM management and address soil quality decline by focusing on three objectives that seek to integrate global, regional and local scales:

Grant Aims:

Objectives:1) We will work with local collaborators across the CCRP to develop a global ‘tool kit’ for agroecological approaches and indices for sustainable soil management, with particular emphasis placed on partners and projects within the CCRP.2) We will support and collaborate with local institutions to apply the toolkit and evaluate the local soil management innovations being promoted and understand these within local contexts of farmer soil knowledge, residue availability, and implication for long-term SOM and soil quality.3) Finally, we will address key social and biophysical knowledge gaps surrounding tradeoffs of residue management and SOM dynamics in smallholder systems to inform the efforts in 1 and 2, via data gathering, model building, and experimentation across multiple smallholder contexts and scales.