Tuesday, October 7, 2008

[kgma] Science and technology-based aid to global agriculture signed

MANILA (PNA) - Over 450 million small farmers will soon get access to
modern agriculture following the approval of funding for new science
and research project by the United Nations and European Commission.

The agreement provides for the European Commission (EC) and the UN
International Fund for Agricultural Development to channel euro 67.5
million to finance research through the Consultative Group on
International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

The program seeks to develop small-holder agriculture and rural
innovation, key to combating the current food price crisis, by
investing in research.

In particular, it will support research on sustainable management of
resources and ecosystems, enhancing scientific, technological and
institutional innovations and policies.

The UN said half the funds are dedicated to Africa to address the
looming crisis on supply of food.

CGIAR is a strategic partnership whose 64 members, including the
Philippines, support 15 international centers, working in
collaboration with hundreds of government and civil society
organizations as well as private businesses around the world.

The Philippines became a member of the CGIAR in 1980, and is the host
of the CGIAR's International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los BaƱos.

The Philippines' official support to the CGIAR is provided through the
Department of Agriculture, in which the Bureau of Agricultural
Research serves as the CGIAR's primary contact.

Agriculture is one of the biggest employers worldwide, providing
livelihood to some two billion poor people, UN figures indicate.

The new contribution brings the total funding assured by the EC
through IFAD to the CGIAR system to euro 112.5 million, the largest
contribution of a single donor to a specific program through IFAD's
Supplementary Funds.

The program aims to boost active participation of low-income
smallholder farmers in research programs, taking into account remote
and marginal areas, increasing exchange of information and experience,
through scientific and producers' networks and stakeholder platforms,
and fostering collaborative innovation.(PNA)

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