Nine Consultative Groups for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centres have Launched an initiative that will help to deliver agronomic solutions to drive sustainable productivity growth under climate change for smallholder farmers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the project tagged: “Excellence in Agronomy” (EiA) Initiative, was launched at the opening of the 2020 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) held virtually on Tuesday.
CGIAR centres involved in EiA include Africa Rice, International Center for Tropical Agriculture, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, International Potato Center and International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).
Others are World Agroforestry Center, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Speaking at the event, Dr Bernard Vanlauwe, the IITA Research for Development Director for Natural Resource Management, said the EiA 2030 was premised on demand-driven agronomic solutions to develop recommendations that would match the needs and objectives of end users.
Vanlauwe said the EiA initiative would assist millions of farmers to intensify production systems while preserving key ecosystem services under the threat of climate change.
According to him, the initiative, co-created with various scaling partners, represents the collective resolve of CGIAR’s agronomy programmes to transform world’s food systems through demand and data-driven agronomy research for development.
“The EiA 2030 will combine big data analytics, new sensing technologies, geospatial decision tools and farming systems research to improve spatially explicit agronomic recommendations in response to demand from scaling partners.
“Our science will integrate the principles of sustainable intensification and be informed by climate change considerations, behavioural economics and scaling pathways at the national and regional levels.
“A two-year incubation phase of EiA 2030 is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“The project will demonstrate the added value of demand-driven research and development supported by novel data, analytics and increased cooperation among centres in support of a one CGIAR agronomy initiative,” he said.
Also speaking, a Senior Programme Officer from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr Christian Witt, lauded the initiative.
“It is ingenious to have a platform like EiA 2030 that looks at solutions that have worked in different settings on other crops, whether they can be applied in a different setting and different crops,” he said.
Also, Dr Martin Kropff, Director-General of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, said the initiative’s goal would become the leading platform for next generation agronomy in the Global South.
He added that it would not only respond to the demand of public and private sectors, but also increase efficiencies in the development and delivery of solutions through increased collaboration and cooperation between CGIAR centres and within the broader agronomy research for development ecosystem.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ijeoma Popoola
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