The Mediterranean region is predicted to be one of the worst affected by climate change: Rising temperatures, lower rainfall, and increasingly severe natural resource degradation are all expected to take their toll on the region’s agricultural production systems. The solutions to these problems are well known, but often these solutions do not reach the end-users who can benefit from their application the most – smallholder farmers.
The strategies needed to change this situation were discussed at a recent workshop in Rome, convened by ‘Feeding Knowledge,’ a research program that explores food security issues across the Mediterranean. Representing ICARDA, Assistant Director General, Dr. Kamel Shideed, argued that knowledge sharing and dissemination were key to higher productivity and a more food-secure region.
This should involve not only improved knowledge sharing within the research community, but also beyond, to reach farmers and rural households. ICARDA presented its ongoing efforts across the region to improve the transfer of new technologies – strengthening the research for development continuum.
Based on its experience, the Center recommends five strategies to improve the delivery of new technologies and solutions: Increased investments in agricultural research for development and capacity strengthening; a reorientation of research institutions so they become more results-oriented and accountable for impact at scale; conservation of biodiversity and genetic resources; and enabling policies and institutional arrangements to enhance the uptake and the adoption of improved technologies.
Held in coordination with the organizers of the Milano Expo, an event that will showcase the technologies needed to raise food production for the world’s growing population, the workshop brought together leading proponents of scientific innovation in agriculture, including representatives from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry; the Politecnico di Milano; and the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM).