Stories tagged: CIRAD

Louis Malassis Prize Shortlist: The Story Behind the Science of Dr. Claire Lanaud

Farming First is pleased to act as media partner for the Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize and the inaugural Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security. Our blog series has showcased stories from scientists nominated for these prestigious prizes.

The final blog in this series outlines the work of Dr. Claire Lanaud, nominated for the Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Distinguished Scientist. Continue reading

1st Africa College International Conference

— Making the Jump From Scientific Research to Improved Food Security —

Ensuring that research results make an impact on food security in sub-Saharan Africa will be the theme of an international conference next month.

The Africa College’s Food Security, Health and Impact Conference will look at how the results of basic scientific research can lead to increased impact on food security and human health, and how partnerships between research and development organisations can deliver innovation and impact.

This will be the first international conference by the Africa College, which is a research partnership between IITA, ICIPE and the University of Leeds. The event will take place at the University of Leeds on 24th June to 26th June 2011. Speakers at the event include Dr Monty Jones, from FARA, Professor Bob Watson, Chief Scientist at Defra, Dr Nicolas Bricas from CIRAD, and Dr Dennis Garrity from the World Agroforestry Centre.

Alongside the presentations and working groups, the Africa College Prize will be awarded to recognise individuals from research and development organisations, civil society and farmer organisations who have helped translate the results of food security and nutrition research into impact in sub-Saharan Africa.

Producing Bioactive Nettings to Protect Crops Againsts Pests

As part of GCARD 2010, Farming First hosted a session entitled ‘Better Benefiting the Poor through Public-Private Partnerships for Innovation and Action.’ Within the discussions, our panel of experts addressed several case studies that present different ways that partnerships have helped to empower smallholder farmers around the world.

Anuj Shah – A to Z Textile Mills Ltd

For almost a decade, A to Z textiles has been involved in an innovative partnership with Sumitomo to develop long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets. Building on the experience with lessons learned through this first partnership, A to Z is now working to build a new partnership to apply a similar concept to help farmers in their fight against pests. The new venture will focus on the development of a bioactive net (i.e. insecticidal), which can be used to cover crops and protect them from pest damage.

The original mosquito net, a permethrin insecticide-impregnated net called Olyset Net, started out as a collaboration between two French institutes CIRAD and IRD, and the international R&D company Sumitomo Chemical.  It is the first ever to receive a full recommendation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the fight against malaria.

The technology behind the Olyset Net has proven extremely successful, showing that nets can retain their properties over long periods of time and provide effective protection. The A to Z team hopes to apply a similar method to create a cost-effective and sage method for protecting crops against major mite species and insects. Tests on cabbage crops in Benin found that using an insecticide-treated net once every three nights was more than twice as effective on the crop yield as the application of insecticides. This increased the value of their crop by an estimated 45%.

When used correctly, these agricultural nets should be able to last for five years (compared to the six-month lifespan of standard sprayed nets) and they leave no residue either on the plants or on the people who apply them. The cost of using the net is less than conventional pesticide use and requires fewer trips to market for purchase.

The success of this scheme will rely on the partnership upon which it is developed. Combining the tools of research institutions, the production capacities of local manufacturers, and the policy support and networks of public bodies, agricultural partnerships can help ensure hat they world’s farmers continue to be empowered to produce enough to feed the world sustainably.

Facilitating Smallholder Farmers Access to Horticultural Training

As part of GCARD 2010, Farming First hosted a session entitled ‘Better Benefiting the Poor through Public-Private Partnerships for Innovation and Action.’ Within the discussions, our panel of experts addressed several case studies that present different ways that partnerships have helped to empower smallholder farmers around the world.

Rémi Kahane – CIRAD and Global Horticulture Initiative (GlobalHort)

The case of horticulture is of special relevance to exemplify the key role of information in the development of public-private partnerships. Horticultural produce is highly perishable and needs careful and rapid handling after harvest. Access to focused and up-to-date technical and marketing information is crucial. Small-scale holders and entrepreneurs need to manage the risk, and information flow is one of the best management tools. However, horticulture is diverse, communities are fragmented, and information is not easy to access.

GlobalHort has initiated information management activities in the vegetable seed sector for several years already. In 2008 with the Asian-Pacific Seed Association it organized a round table on vegetable farming technology in tropical Asia. Representatives of seed companies and ministries of agriculture agreed upon an action plan to be followed up by APSA and GlobalHort to enable vegetable industry to develop at the regional level. Improved information flow was advocated on both parts.

The first requested flow of information will be focused on the needs of end users (producers) and beneficiaries (consumers). There is a clear task to establish terms of reference, to identify what is the challenge. These needs can address technical or organizational issues. If the challenge is only established by the private sector, it will sound like a marketing study. Such a phase implies close connection with those end users, which is something the industry rarely does. The next phase refers to capacities for translating the needs into technological and economical issues, to make the challenge realistic. This is the role of innovation partners, including research, development, expertise etc.; however, in a participatory approach where information is circulating. Whatever the relevance of an innovative concept, making it popular is crucial for its adoption; it is essential to convince NGOs, policy makers and international organizations. They will create an enabling environment, sometimes competing with purely financial interests.