Thursday, 1 November 2007

DFID and sustainable agriculture

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is developing a new research strategy for the period 2008-2013, in which its budget for research will double. One of the questions concerns information and communication. Basically, what actions should DFID support in the coming years to make sure that the research it supports is accessible and is used.

If you have some concrete ideas that DFID should support, or some existing project that already does this very well and thus should be replicated, contribute your views here (before end November).

The total number of responses to the various surveys has reached more than 700, from all corners of the world. On the web site of the consultation ( some respondents to the question on sustainable agriculture addressed several themes:
  • The need to work at grass roots levels; although some contributors suggested that subsistence farmers were often not aware of potential new areas for diversification.
  • New technologies and new crop varieties that will lead to sustainability and counter some of the effects of climate change need to be developed.
  • The impact of climate change was noted with suggestions of closer monitoring and new crop varieties being the most common responses.
  • Many respondents emphasised the need for irrigation systems to combat drought as well as the need for clean water for survival of people and livestock.
  • The need for new technologies was raised by a majority of respondents but how these could be harnessed remains elusive.

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