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Harnessing Irish Agricultural Know-how For Hunger and Poverty Reduction

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Harnessing Irish Agricultural Know-how For Hunger and Poverty Reduction

Harnessing Irish Agricultural Know-how For Hunger and Poverty Reduction
October 20
10:48 2016

Harnessing the knowledge of the Irish agriculture sector can significantly contribute to ending hunger and poverty for millions of people in the Developing World. Such is the belief of the founders of an innovative new consortium that has brought the Irish agriculture and research sectors together with some of the country’s leading development charities, in a bid to leverage Irish know-how to increase agriculture productivity and combat hunger in the Developing World.

Founding members of the new Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD) are the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Irish Aid, Teagasc, Agri-Science departments at NUI Galway, UCC and UCD, along with leading international development charities Gorta-Self Help Africa, Vita, Concern Worldwide, Trocaire and Misean Cara, private companies such as Sustainable Food Systems Ireland and Greenfield International and leading farmer associations  ICMSA, ICSA, IFA and Macra na Feirme.

The successful trialing in Eritrea, one of Africa’s poorest countries, of a potato variety shipped from Ireland offered a tangible example of what the new forum could achieve, the official launch of IFIAD heard, at the RDS in Dublin yesterday. Consortium members, including Teagasc, the Irish Potato Industry, Gorta-Self Help Africa and Vita had introduced the Electra variety, and provided their Eritrean counterparts with technical support and assistance. Early results showed that potato yields had tripled for Eritrean farmers as a result. Last year, Eritrea became the seventh member of the Irish Potato Forum.

Representatives from national and international agriculture, agri-business and development aid sectors attended the launch, which was addressed by Minister Joe McHugh TD, and by guest speakers including Dr Ousmane Badiane, Africa Director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Paul Winters, Director of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD).

The Forum’s Chair, Dr Lance O’Brien, Head of Strategy and International Relations at Teagasc, says: “this new initiative will create a platform to allow the knowledge, expertise and commitment of the Irish farming sector to be harnessed to deliver a more focused impact on addressing the challenge of food security in developing countries.”

Visit: www.ifiad.org for more information.

CAPTION:

Professor Gerry Boyle, Director Teagasc, with Joe McHugh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources with Special Responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, and  Tom Kitts – Chairman, Gorta – Self Help Africa, at the launch of the new Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD).

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