“I would like to see funding for agriculture research to include better communications mechanisms so that farmers are involved in setting the agenda for agriculture research that applies to them. This would also include ways in which farmers, extension, ministry representatives, women’s associations and researchers engage in dialogue about the best way to share these research findings, reaching beyond the study site and selected communities – radio can play this role.”
“I would like to mention following areas for increased agricultural funding: (1) Training the next generation of agronomists. (2) Strengthening public agricultural research in developing countries, especially in Africa. (3) Improving access to markets and knowledge of small-scale farmers. The most important of the three areas in our view is the training of the next generation of agronomists who will have to ensure food security.”
To see more responses:
Part 50: Njoh Wanduku (Cameroon), Brian Cady, Brian Nugent (Kenya) Part 51: Gideon Behar (Senegal), Benjamin Tchoffo (Cameroon), and Stephanie Hanson (Kenya) Part 52: Chris Reij (Netherlands), Matty Demont (Senegal), and Ann Waters-Bayer (Germany) Part 53: Dennis Karamuzi (Rwanda), Mark Muller (USA), and @Peterballantyne (via twitter) Part 54: King-David Amoah (Ghana), Tom Hager (USA), and Jim DeVries (USA)
“I think, more agricultural funds should go to Agriculture School projects, all over the world so that, in the future as these children grow up, each household knows how to grow food and knows the importance of agriculture. In this way there is food security all over the world, and there is no famine in most of the countries and if it’s there, because of some other reason, then still there will be more producers on the mother Earth. This does not only fight famine, but also creates jobs in agricultural fields. And not only that, but also great thinkers and peace makers.
An agriculturist likes his plants, and never wants them to dry up in the same way, he will like people to live, so as the world invests in young generations through agriculture, In the long run, we are fighting hungry people or terrorists. This is three way effect.”
To read more responses see:
Part 43: Caroline Smith, Klaus Droppelmann (Malawi), Ashley Colpaart (USA) Part 44: Huriye Kara, Pat Lanyasunya (Kenya), Prince Charles Dickson (Nigeria) Part 45: Dyno Keatinge (Taiwan), Gizachew Sisay (Ethiopia), and Anne Woodfine (UK) Part 46: Faruq Banna, Arnold Kauk (Australia), and Shahul Salim (India) Part 47: Reed Sims (USA), Karen Soeters (Netherlands), and Kebebe Ergano
“I would like to see more agriculture funding allocated to capacity building of small-scale farmers to innovate and respond to risks; for instance in post-harvest handling, branding their produces, forecasting market opportunities etc.”
2. Shree kumar Maharjan, Nepal says:
“I think hard cash money should be invested to reduce food insecurity and hunger focusing developing countries. At the same time, we should also think to have little or no environmental impacts, as climate change is major concern for most of the developing countries. Poor and vulnerable countries and people are mostly at risk from climate change impacts rather than developed and rich ones. So money should be invested to build adaptive capacity of the rural poor by diversifying their livelihood options to reduce food insecurity and hunger in the world.”
“It seems to me that more–way more–funding needs to go toward a) training programs that advance appropriate technology in agriculture (read, alternatives to resource-, chemical-, and fertilizer-intensive conventional practices), and b) mechanisms that make well-designed and implemented micro-credit lending available to small farmers everywhere.”
Read other responses:
Part 1: Dave Andrews (USA), Dave Johnstone (Cameroon), & Pierre Castagnoli (Italy). Part 2: Paul Sinandja (Togo), Dov Pasternak (Niger), & Pascal Pulvery (France). Part 3: Christine McCulloch (UK), Hans R Herren (VA), & Amadou Niang (Mali). Part 4: Michel Koos (Netherlands), Don Seville (USA), & RonGretlarson. Part 5: Shahul Salim, Roger Leakey (Kenya), & Monty P Jones (Ghana). Part 6: Calestous Juma (USA), Ray Anderson (USA),&Rob Munro (Zambia). Part 7 : Tom Philpott (USA), Grace Mwaura, & Thangavelu Vasantha Kumaran. Part 8: Peter Mietzner (Namibia), Madyo Couto (Mozambique), & Norman Thomas Uphoff (USA)
“We need massive public investment in transfer of low cost simple technologies and innovations to millions of smallholder families, especially focused on women farmers (as they do the majority of the work) that help increase their food security, maintain and increase their productivity in a sustainable way, and increase their resilience to the increasing climate variability. We have seen many successful examples that can be scaled-up, and we are working on a coherent proposal to bring this together in a common framework. The work needs to be complemented with government policies and private sector linkages, empowerment of (women) farmers and their producer organizations, so that extra production doesn’t lead directly to price falls.
We don’t believe in simple solutions based on subsidized fertilizers and “miracle” seeds. In many countries there is a more profound problem of increasing soil degradation that has to be tackled with a combination of measures that can restore organic matter and retain moisture in the soil that require mostly transfer of knowledge and farming techniques and not expensive inputs.”
“I work with the private sector and NGOs to build linkages before “formal markets” (those with food safety requirements, high quality and traceability goals, etc) and small scale producers in Central America and Africa that are in need of better markets and incomes. I would like to see more funding targeted to infrastructure for small-scale farmers that would help them participate in these more stable and value-added markets. There isn’t for the poorest farmers–these are farmers have the potential to meet modern market requirement with the right side of capacity building, infrastructure, and market linkages.
Often missing from the efforts to link farmers to markets are the investments in irrigation, storage, packaging, and transportation that would allows small scale farmers (in collaboration through an intermediary) to provide consistent higher quality products. There are some interesting innovations in irrigation systems that have even potential for farmers that lease land; of course, it also depends on good watershed planning and investment which is another important investment area.
Farmers also need good commercial support in their linkages to the private sector. For small scale producers to act as consistently as a larger agricultural producers, the intermediary (cooperative, marketing association, trader, private company, etc) needs to be even more sophisticated to be both professionally consistent in delivery and quality and maintain transparency to the farmers. The other priority I see is the need to invest in sustainable agriculture — particularly in building organic matter in soils, which can sequester carbon (good for climate change) and improve productivity (good for food security and markets). We need research, incentives, and extension to rapidly scale up adaption of practices.”
3. Ron Gretlarson says:
“I would like to see more agricultural funding (in every country, but especially in Africa) devoted to the promises of Biochar. The reasons are threefold: increased availability of ag residues for household energy purposes (need funding for lower-cost char-producing stoves), beginning the task of taking carbon out of the atmosphere (carbon negativity needed to get to 350 ppm), and most importantly improved ag output (seems to be getting a doubling of yield in Africa, even with no or reduced fertilizer.)”
Want to read more responses?
See Part 1 to hear from Dave Andrews (USA), Dave Johnstone (Cameroon), Pierre Castagnoli.
See Part 2 to hear from Paul Sinandja (Togo), Dov Pasternak (Niger), and Pascal Pulvery (France).
See Part 3 to hear from Christine McCulloch (UK), Hans R Herren (VA), and Amadou Niang.