OTTAWA, April 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Scientists working on the front lines of hunger in Canada and the developing world will gather in Edmonton, April 30-May 2 to find solutions for how small-holder farmers can become more productive, resilient, and profitable. The inaugural International Food Security Dialogue, organized by the University of Alberta with support from Canada's International Development Research Centre and the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), will provide a rallying platform for food security researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to find ways of feeding the estimated 870 million people who go to bed hungry every night.
The International Food Security Dialogue will put the spotlight on new and emerging findings from projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America supported by the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF). A key component of Canada's Food Security Strategy, CIFSRF is funded by IDRC in collaboration with DFATD, and aims to put into practice on-the-ground solutions to hunger and malnutrition.
"Canadian farmers, working with farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to share ideas and techniques, can be a powerful force for development and food production," says IDRC President Jean Lebel. "Research and investment are key to putting an end to hunger. Tapping into Western Canada's long history of agricultural innovation, its expertise in the private sector, and civil society will also go a long way to feeding an increasingly hungry world."
"Funding from IDRC and DFATD has given researchers and students at the University of Alberta the extraordinary opportunity to collaborate with international partners and further develop and implement ideas around international development," said Lorne Babiuk, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Alberta. "It's through these types of partnerships, including with the MS Swaminathan Foundation, that we're able to provide solutions to global challenges, build capacity, train highly qualified personnel and make a difference in the lives of many people. The University of Alberta is delighted to be hosting this important dialogue."
Current CIFSRF projects are exploring how a bottle cap of fertilizer can put an end to hunger in the Sahel desert of West Africa; how $10 agriculture kits are turning rural Indian farmers into scientists; how soil bacteria and chickpeas are helping reinvigorate Ethiopian farmland; how a simple grain mill can boost production and ease women's workload in rural India; and how a "5-vaccines-in-1" approach could kick-start the livestock revolution in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Jean Lebel, IDRC President and food security expert
- Ted Menzies, President and CEO of CropLife Canada
- Paul R. Samson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
- Stanford Blade, Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions
- Madhura Swaminathan, chairperson of the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, an economist and food security, agriculture, and rural development expert
- Jackie Ashby, CGIAR Consortium, an expert on gender and agriculture
- Peter Berti, Healthbridge, an expert on food systems and nutrition
- Meine van Noordwijk of the World Agroforestry Centre, a soil scientist and ecologist
- Abdul Kamara, research division manager, African Development Bank, agricultural investment expert
Agricultural experts supported by IDRC and DFATD will be available to talk with media about results stemming from their research in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
For more information: www.idrc.ca/IFSD2014.
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A key part of Canada's foreign policy efforts, IDRC supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. The result is innovative, lasting solutions that aim to improve lives and livelihoods. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About the University of Alberta
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SOURCE: International Development Research Centre
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