November 2011


Interesting initiatives of two major donors for agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Last October the Australian Government announced that will provide AUS 36 million to establish a new Australian International Centre for Food Security led by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The centre aims to boost food production in Africa, through the provision of research and technical expertise. The initiative would expand the work of ACIAR, particularly and initially in African countries, but with scope to broaden its geographic reach.

The complete initiative is available from the ACIAR website

Early this month, the Gates Foundation announced a new agricultural policy that will focus on only few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda) and South Asia (Bangladesh, and Bihar and Orissa States in India). The new strategy will focus not just on technological interventions to reduce productivity gaps in certain crops but also the infrastructures, institutional reforms and policy changes required to improve productivity.

A description of this strategy is available from the SciDev Net website

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1. Agricultural Systems/Climate Change Mitigation
Achieving sustainable food security in a world of growing population and changing diets is a major challenge under climate change. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is looking for an innovative, results-oriented young scientist with excellent skills in agricultural systems analysis and modeling. The scientist will work as a member of CIMMYT Global Conservation Agriculture Program (CIMMYT-GCAP), and will play a key role in a large multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional team. The selected scientist will work closely with CIMMYT’s research teams in the different regions where systems research is conducted, as well as partners in advanced research institutes, national research programs, and the CCAFS (CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security) community. He/she will be responsible for evaluating the potential impact, in the Indo Gangetic plains, of improved agricultural management practices, including conservation agriculture, to mitigate climate change. The position is supported by the CGIAR Research Program (CRP7-CCAFS) and other donors.

The complete description of this position is available from the CIMMYT website

2. Agricultural Systems/Climate Change Adaptation
Achieving sustainable food security in a world of growing population and changing diets is a major challenge under climate change. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is looking for an innovative, results-oriented young scientist with excellent skills in agricultural systems analysis and modeling. The scientist will work as a member of CIMMYT Global Conservation Agriculture Program (CIMMYT-GCAP), and will play a key role in a large multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional team. The selected scientist will work closely with CIMMYT’s research teams in the different regions where systems research is conducted, as well as partners in advanced research institutes, national research programs, and the CCAFS (CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security) community. He/she will be responsible for assessing the potential of conservation agriculture as an adaption measure to climate change in the Indo Gangetic plains and East Africa, in coordination with similar studies in South Asia region and in East Africa. The position is supported by the CGIAR Research Program (CRP7-CCAFS) and other donors.

The complete description of this position is available from the CIMMYT website

The Landscapes for People, Food and Nature is an international collaborative initiative that aims to scale up successful strategies that simultaneously improve livelihoods, conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services, and feed the world while helping to address climate change. This integrated approach combines interests across multiple sectors to improve landscape management.

Dialogues of this three year collaborative initiative will start in an international forum in March 6-10th 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. Co-organizers include Biodiversity International, Conservation International, EcoAgriculture Partners, FAO, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, UNEP, UNU-IAS and the World Agroforestry Centre.

The complete description of the initiative is available here