Interactive essay explores how science and innovation in agriculture is changing lives

science&innovationA new interactive essay demonstrates how investments in science and innovation can not only meet food security needs but also contribute to broader interlinked goals, such as natural resource management, improved nutrition and resilient rural livelihoods.

Celebrating Science & Innovation in Agriculture has been developed jointly by the global agriculture coalition, Farming First, and the CGIAR Consortium. It uses photographs and videos to explore scientific advances that are transforming rural lives all over the world today.

There are 28 case studies in all, organized into 5 themes: natural resource management, agricultural extension, improved inputs, resilience and market access.

Among the case studies is work being done in Central Viet Nam to boost resilience with fruit trees.

Amid problems of declining soil fertility, reduced river flows and drought, farmers in the region have had to seek alternatives. The World Agroforestry Centre has collaborated with partners and local people to develop agroforestry systems in homegardens and on sloping land that combine trees, such as pomelo and orange, with annual crops, such as beans, peanut, sweet potato and maize as well as guinea fodder grass.

Such mixed systems not only provide greater resilience to climate risks but also contribute to improved dietary diversity and therefore improved nutrition.

“Scientific discoveries and innovations are helping farmers make breakthroughs every day,” says Robert Hunter, Farming First Co-Chair. “Helping them feed their families, earn a better living and look after the natural resources we all rely on”.

Frank Rijsberman, CEO of CGIAR Consortium, adds that “studies have demonstrated for decades that agricultural research is the most cost-effective investment that exists for development.”'

Kate Langford

Kate Langford is a consultant writer with close to 20 years’ experience in communicating natural resource, environmental and land management issues for various government and non-government organizations. She previously worked as Communications Specialist for the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya and has worked in Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Scientific Communication.

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