WHO WE ARE
The Institute of Sustainable Agriculture (IAS) is a research institute of the CSIC. Its purpose is to make food production compatible with the conservation of natural resources and environmental protection.
Sustainable Agriculture Institute
The research carried out by the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture (IAS) of the CSIC addresses the sustainability, both in rainfed and irrigated farming systems characteristic of Mediterranean climate zones. In a globalized world and with the challenge of feeding a growing population, our mission is to make food production compatible with the conservation of natural resources and environmental protection. To this end, we develop our work seeking the advancement of scientific knowledge and technology transfer to the agri-food sector.
The IAS is located in the experimental farm “Alameda del Obispo” in Cordoba, on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. The farm, owned by the Institute for Research and Training in Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Organic Production (IFAPA) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Regional Government of Andalusia, has an area of 154 hectares and also houses the IFAPA agricultural research center in Cordoba city, with which we maintain a close collaboration. The IAS currently employs some 180 people, of whom 150 are permanent staff or personnel hired for research activities and approximately 30 are authorized collaborators as visitors from universities and other institutions in Spain and abroad. By areas, 20 people work in Administration and General Services and the rest in one of the three scientific programs. The scientific core of the IAS is composed of 36 consolidated researchers, including nine group leaders, and seven postdoctoral researchers. A little more than 100 people make up the group of technicians and pre-doctoral contract workers.
Today the IAS is a reference center for research in agricultural sciences, both nationally and internationally. Through three scientific programs, Agronomy, Plant Breeding and Crop Protection, the IAS conducts science of excellence that seeks to develop agricultural models based on sustainability parameters. Agronomy researchers address problems mainly related to water scarcity and soil conservation, the two challenges facing Mediterranean agriculture. The IAS includes experts in irrigation management, irrigation engineering and hydrology, crop modeling, application of remote sensing to irrigation systems, soil erosion and conservation agriculture. Plant breeding research is focused on the main extensive annual crops: cereals, legumes and oil crops. Improvement is carried out for resistance to stresses, both biotic and abiotic, for higher product quality or for the development of new products demanded both by the national and international markets. The lines in the Crop Protection program focus mainly, but not exclusively, on soil microorganisms, nematodes and weeds and arvene flora. Approaches based on modern disease diagnosis and modeling methods and sustainable control tools integrated within agriculture and circular economy strategies are developed.
The IAS collaborates scientifically and in teaching with universities, mainly the University of Cordoba, with other CSIC centers in Andalusia and other geographical areas, and with secondary schools, high schools and vocational training centers. Also very important for the institute are the close and consolidated collaborations with important international research centers and universities and the clear commitment to development cooperation, particularly in the Mediterranean area, Latin America and Africa.