Research-policy partnerships for agriculture

April 15, 2011 at 6:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

H.E. Abdalla Al-Dardari, Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, is honored for his contributions to agricultural development. Left to right: H.E. Al-Dardari, H.E. Ali Ahmed Mansoura, Governor of Aleppo, and Dr Mahmoud Solh ICARDA’s Director General

H.E. Abdalla Al-Dardari, Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, commended the results achieved by Syria-ICARDA partnerships, and urged that collaboration be further expanded. He was speaking at a workshop on Spatial development challenges and rural development in Syria, organized jointly by Syria’s Regional Planning Commission and ICARDA. Participants at the workshop, held at ICARDA headquarters on 26 March, included H.E. Dr Erfan Ali, Head of the Regional Planning Commission, H.E. Ali Ahmed Mansoura, Governor of Aleppo, and other dignitaries.

The workshop discussed agricultural development opportunities in Syria in light of climate change, declining water reserves, land degradation and other challenges. H.E. Al-Dardari noted: “The new National Framework for Regional Planning places great emphasis on agriculture, because half of Syria’s population lives in rural areas. Joint research by the Ministry of Agriculture and ICARDA will be vital in implementing the Framework.”

The workshop included presentations by ICARDA scientists, highlighting technologies that could be scaled out, and new research tools that could assist land use planning. Dr Mahmoud Solh ICARDA’s Director General, said: “These are examples of how good partnerships can bring research results quickly into farmers’ fields.”

Five areas were discussed: policy options for enhancing research impacts, technologies for producing more food with less water, GIS tools for agro-ecological mapping, strategies for climate change adaptation, and strategies to improve livestock production in marginal rangelands. In each of these areas, the conference helped outline practical ways to build on previous research results, and integrate them into national development plans.

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