Wednesday, 5 December 2007

CGIAR Annual General Meeting - Science Forum

CGIAR Annual General Meeting 2007 organised Tuesday, December 4, 2007 a Science Forum aimed at fostering dialogue about scientific achievements and opportunities.
FARA participated at the Parallel Session Theme 1: Science at Work for Sustainable Agriculture and its Multiple Roles. Sub-Saharan Africa

Rapporteur: Harry Palmier / Moderator: Kwesi Atta-Krah (Bioversity)
Presenter: Ida Sithole-Niang (University of Zimbabwe)
Discussants: Hartmann (IITA), Monty Jones (FARA)
Idah Sithole-Niang, Department of Biochemistry, University of Zimbabwe made a presentation on : Scientific Achievements for Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
What have been the major scientific achievements in and beyond the CGIAR, and what lessons have been learned?
  • Scientific achievements in Agricultural research in SSA clearly result from multi-institutional cooperation between international and national scientific and technological communities
  • Recent breakthroughs exemplify this: NERICAs (New Rice for Africa), biological control of cassava mealybug; quality protein maize; “Strigaway”; push & pull; chemical ecology
    CGIAR has contributed immensely to the development of African agriculture research but the partnership still has to be improved/ strengthened.
  • More emphasis needs to be put on alignment to NARS/SROs priorities and equitable sharing of resources.
  • Potential “snow balling effect” towards farmers fields is yet to be exploited
  • There is need to adopt comprehensive innovation systems
  • Science works in (and for) SSA, but science should be complemented by better agricultural policies, markets, soil fertility interventions, land tenure, and access to credit by small farmers.
  • Capacity building was implicit in all success stories, and NARS are explicitly calling for the CGIAR to remain active in this essential domain; it is key for sustainability.
  • Solid national government investment in agricultural research is a prerequisite for equal partnerships.

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