Researchers and farmers in Azerbaijan, implementing climate-smart agricultural practices based on nuclear and related techniques, have been able to more than double their yields of cotton production in a project supported by the IAEA in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  Through the use of a new variety called “cotton super”, combined with carefully implemented CSA practices which help to understand how to sustainably increase agricultural productivity, the pilot project has seen yields increase from the country’s average of three tons per hectare to eight tons per hectare. Implemented in 2021, the pilot, part of an IAEA technical cooperation project, focused on developing climate-smart agricultural guidelines for cotton production, training Azerbaijani researchers and progressive farmers in climate-smart agricultural practices and designing on-farm demonstration trials. Generally speaking, 60 per cent of improvement in crop productivity comes from capitalizing on the strategic application of soil nutrients and water management,” said Mohammad Zaman, a soil scientist at the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture and Technical Officer of the project. “It’s about the right amount, in the right way, at the right growth stage.” Climate-smart agricultural practices involve the use of isotopic techniques to obtain essential information on how to optimize fertilizer use and increase the efficiency of agricultural production while maintaining soil health.