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Call For More “Dynamic Partnerships” to Enhance Global Food Security

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Call For More “Dynamic Partnerships” to Enhance Global Food Security

Call For More “Dynamic Partnerships” to Enhance Global Food Security
June 17
10:25 2015

At its third annual forum on Global Food Security held recently in Dublin, Teagasc, the Irish agriculture and food development agency, called on all parties involved to form more dynamic partnerships. The forum creates a platform for various NGOs, research institutions, the private sector and government agencies to share and discuss research across the agricultural sector, with a view to enhancing global food security. It poses the question of Ireland’s role in addressing the challenges of reducing hunger in the world’s poorest countries.

Director of Teagasc, Professor Gerry Boyle opened the forum, and welcomed delegates from across Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands and Ethiopia. “Ireland’s history, expertise and capacity in research–led agriculture, perfectly positions us to be the development leaders on food security. However, we run the risk of diluting that leadership unless we form practical and dynamic partnerships.”

Other key recommendations emerged from the forum, including the need to promote agricultural and in particular smallholder agricultural enterprises, as a fundamental driver of economic and social growth in lesser developed nations.

“Increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers, mainly women farmers in Africa, is the key recommendation of Irish Hunger Envoy, Kevin Farrell, in his 2011 report,” said John Weakliam, CEO of Vita. Vita is the Irish NGO fighting hunger and climate change in Africa. “Marrying the research expertise from Teagasc and the universities, the resources and business knowledge of the private sector and the development expertise of the NGOs ensures that these small holders will have access to an incredibly deep pool of knowledge and skills.”

The Vita potato programme in Chencha, Ethiopia was presented as a case study which successfully utilised knowledge transfer gleaned from a collaboration consisting of local, national and international expertise.

Other speakers at the event included Dr Lance O’ Brien, Chair of the Teagasc Food Security Committee, and Dr Alan Tollervey, Chief Economist with the Department for International Development, (UK).

CAPTION:

Dr Lance O’Brien, Chair, Teagasc Food Security Committee; with Nkhotha Machachamise, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho; Prof Gerry Boyle, Director, Teagasc; and John Weakliam, CEO, Vita, at the Research & Knowledge Transfer for Global Food Security conference co-sponsored by Teagasc and NUI Galway.

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