CA$16.5 million for six new international research projects announced
OTTAWA, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadian and developing-world scientists
are working on the front lines of hunger to make food more sufficient,
safe, and nutritious around the globe. Six groundbreaking research
projects worth a total of $16.5 million were announced today by
Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), under the Canadian
International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF).
CIFSRF, a five-year, $62 million fund, brings Canadian and developing-country
researchers together to produce lasting solutions to combat hunger and
food insecurity in the developing world. This fund is also an important
part of the Government of Canada's commitment to doubling its
investment in sustainable agricultural development, a commitment made
by Canada at the 2009 G8 Meeting in L'Aquila, Italy.
"Canada is a world leader in the fight against hunger and our
partnership with IDRC plays a strong part in our efforts. Food and
nutrition security remains a key priority of our government's
development assistance," says Bev Oda, Minister of International
Cooperation. "Our contribution to CIFSRF demonstrates Canadian
leadership in assisting developing countries fight hunger through
innovative practices and supports private sector growth in
The six research projects team up the brightest scientific minds from
Canada and developing countries to deliver practical solutions that
help the poor and expand Canada's scientific base. In some instances,
they are also of direct benefit to Canadians.
These projects range from the development of state-of-the-art vaccines
in Africa and the use of nanotechnology to reduce fruit loss in South
Asia, to increasing productivity and nutrition in Southeast Asia, Latin
America, and Africa though aquaculture, home gardens, improved crops,
and better soil management.
"Around the globe, farmers face many food production challenges," says
IDRC President, David Malone. "This research looks for practical
solutions that support development and can be effectively scaled up and
used elsewhere in the world. That's very much in keeping with what IDRC
is all about."
Among the project highlights:
Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan and the Kenya Agricultural
Research Institute are developing a vaccine for bovine pleuropneumonia
in Africa, a highly contagious bacterial disease in cattle that can
significantly reduce the incomes of small-scale farmers.
Researchers at the University of Alberta and the Agricultural Research
Council in South Africa are developing inexpensive, safe, and
easy-to-use vaccines using a novel delivery technology to combat a host
of livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. This will contribute to
food availability, nutritional security, and higher incomes for rural
families. The delivery technology being developed could also be useful
to Canadian farmers.
Researchers at the University of Guelph, India's Tamil Nadu Agricultural
University, and the Industrial Technology Institute in Sri Lanka are
using nanotechnology to develop a packaging system that reduces
post-harvest losses of mangoes. The system will contribute to higher
incomes for farmers and increased consumption of this highly nutritious
fruit. Canadian soft fruit farmers should also benefit.
Researchers at McGill University and the Universidad Nacional de
Colombia are working with indigenous communities in Colombia to
produce, select, and introduce nutritional, high-yielding, and
disease-resistant potato varieties for the most food-insecure
communities. Potato is their staple food crop and a main source of
Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Helen Keller
International in Cambodia are studying ways to integrate home gardens
and aquaculture systems to increase and diversify food production. This
will provide poor households with affordable, nutritional food and new
Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan and Ethiopia's Hawassa
University are testing ways to combat micronutrient deficiencies and
malnutrition in three different regions of Southern Ethiopia. Using
plant-breeding and improved soil management, they are working to
increase the zinc and iron content of pulse crops.
Today's announcement brings to 19 the number of projects funded under
CIFSRF since 2009 and includes researchers from 11 Canadian
universities and 26 developing-country organizations.
Join in the conversation through Twitter #CIFSRF and Facebook.
More information is available at www.idrc.ca/cifsrf.
A key part of Canada's aid program, the International Development
Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and
development. IDRC also encourages sharing this knowledge with
policymakers, other researchers, and communities around the world. The
result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring change
to those who need it most.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is Canada's lead
agency for development assistance. CIDA's aim is to manage Canada's
support and resources effectively and accountably to achieve
meaningful, sustainable results. It also engages in policy development
in Canada and internationally, enabling Canada's effort to realize its
SOURCE International Development Research Centre
For further information:
Senior Media Advisor, IDRC
(+1 613) 696-2343