UK Environment Minister Richard Benyon visits ICRAF Hq
During a visit to the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) headquarters in Nairobi on 19 February 2013, UK Environment Minister Hon. Richard Benyon said agroforestry had many beneficial spillover effects.
“You are providing [agricultural] practitioners with the ability to increase production sustainably. This work has vast potential to unlock gains to smallholdings that go way beyond agriculture… gains such as stability, progress, and education,” said Hon. Benyon.
Minister Benyon, accompanied by ministry colleagues, toured the Centre’s laboratories and tree nursery; participated in a science–policy dialogue with research leaders; and met with representatives of four CGIAR institutions with satellite offices hosted within the Centre’s campus, namely Bioversity International, CIAT, CIFOR and ICRISAT.
Director General Tony Simons said the UK has been a long-term funder of the World Agroforestry Centre’s work, support that has led to new knowledge in multiple areas, such as participatory tree domestication, tree genetics, sustainable intensification of agriculture, nutrition, medicinal plants, and conservation. The support is both direct and through the UK’s contributions to international development funders such as the World Bank, the European Union and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The UK also funds the CGIAR—a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future—of which ICRAF is part.
Hon. Benyon noted that the interest in agricultural research today is increasingly driven by concerns about sustainability. “Funders of research care deeply about sustainability of livelihoods and the environment, which is linked to supply-chain stability for businesses,” he said.
Hon. Richard Benyon is in Nairobi for the 27th session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC27/GMEF) of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), 18 to 22 February 2013.
See addition photo: Visit of UK Environment Minister Hon Richard Beynon to ICRAF