Save the date for this international debate on efficient and sustainable food production in Asia. CIAT has partnered with The Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) Food Security Summit: Asia 2014 held in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 8-9th – which aims to discuss the imminent food security crisis the Asia Pacific region is facing.
AIDF is a leading platform for building collaboration among stakeholders to achieve a vision of agriculture and aquaculture as drivers of food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity. The annual AIDF Food Security Summit boasts attendance by more than 300 government ministers, advisors, farming associations, investors, UN agencies, private sector experts and NGOs looking to build private public partnerships and cross industry collaborations.
Key themes at the Summit include urgency to build effective and resilient agricultural systems, promoting sustainable food production and nutrition security, the impact of climate change on food security and more. CIAT is an official partner for the event, along with leading organizations in the region from the research, development, policy and private sectors.
Forages in Asia
“Food security in Asia must be addressed with urgency,” said CIAT’s Asia Director, Dindo Campilan. “Rapid urbanization, population pressure and rising consumer wealth are putting pressure on agricultural resources. Our agricultural systems must be intensified in ways which bring economic benefits to the poorest people – but not at environmental costs,” he added.
Campilan, who is tabled to give two presentations on agricultural policies and technologies in a world of natural resources and climate change, and optimizing infrastructure, partnerships and investments, noted that the Food Security Summit fits with CIAT’s new global strategy to improve the eco-efficiency of agriculture.
“That means producing more food with fewer resources, while ensuring people in rural and urban areas have access to high-quality, low-cost nutritious and healthy food,” he said. A tall order, but one which needs to be tackled as rapid development in the region collides with increasing environmental stresses and a rising population.
“The Summit is a timely occasion to share CIAT’s new Asia strategic framework and to reach out to existing and new partners in the region. Our newly launched research themes – cassava in value chains; forages and livestock, and integrated farming systems; and agri-landscapes – are closely aligned with the priority food security agenda identified by Summit stakeholders,” he said.
Cassava – the third most important food crop in the tropics after rice and maize – when managed properly is a highly resource-efficient, climate-smart crop, with vast income generation potential for the poor, as a raw material for manufacturing and pharmaceutical products, including starch, biofuels and other products. CIAT-related varieties bred by local partners are now grown on more than 50% of the cassava area across Southeast Asia.
Cassava in Cambodia
Improved forages for livestock, another focus of CIAT’s strategy in the region, have the potential to reduce reliance on imported feed stock, stabilize and restore degraded lands, enhance ecosystem services, boost milk and meat production and mitigate impacts of climate change as nitrogen-fixing legumes.
CIAT’s genebank maintains some of the world’s most vital genetic resources to develop crop varieties resilient to rising environmental challenges, especially in the face of climate change – including the world’s largest collections of beans (nearly 36,000 accessions), cassava (nearly 7,000 accessions) and tropical forages for livestock (over 23,000 accessions).
“These are vital genetic resources which can be tapped by partners in the region to provide the building blocks for a more resilient agricultural system,” said Campilan. “As CIAT leads the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), we also have a special interest in climate change adaptation and mitigation to build more resilient agricultural systems for the future.”
Photos and text by: Georgina Smith - See more at: http://ciatblogs.cgiar.org/support/ciat-partners-with-the-aidf-food-security-summit/#sthash.hjQthcjn.dpuf
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