IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Editorial: e-ifc No. 22, March 2010

Editorial

Participants of the IPI-OUAT-IPNI symposium
Participants of the IPI-OUAT-IPNI symposium during a pre-symposium field trip to an integrated farming system project conducted in eight villages of Puri district near Konark, Orissa, India. The project involved 1,065 farm families involved in livestock raising, fresh water fish farming, and vermicomposting programs, amongst others.
Photo by IPI.

Dear readers,

In this edition of e-ifc we bring an agricultural report from Sudan. This country, the largest in Africa, enjoys the flow of the Nile river as well as good precipitation in its southern part. Hence there are ample of opportunities for agri development, which can provide food for its hungry and neighboring countries.

IPI has started agricultural activities in sub-Saharan Africa in 2008 (in fact we did have activities in South Africa in the 80s) with much hope to assist in increasing and improving sustainable food production. Our joint project in Mozambique (see details on IPI website) does provide some very interesting entry points to what can be done in the continent.

We believe that agricultural development in Africa during the next decade will play a crucial role in the global food production.

And on another issue: "Agricultural extension services should be a key component of any strategy to ensure that science developments are appropriately developed and targeted. These services provide a mechanism for informing farmers about new technological developments, as well as providing a route for feedback from farmers to the research base. They could also help inform the research community so that technological innovation is appropriately targeted. Extension services also help farmers work together for the benefits of food output and the environment." This quote is from the report by The Royal Society, published in October 2009, titled "Reaping the Benefits: Science and Sustainable Intensification of Global Agriculture". The report describes the future role of biological science in the sustainable intensification in global food production. The report also dedicates room for Extension and Technology Transfer, yet, interestingly, the authors highlight the role of a two way connection between research and farmers. Often we say "disseminate", or "deliver" (knowledge), which means a one way flow of knowledge, from "top" to "bottom". But we tend to ignore the feedback from farmers to improve and adjust research - or from "bottom" to "top". This is beyond being just politically correct. It is indeed a way of doing things right.

I wish you all an enjoyable read.

Hillel Magen
Director

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