The Director of the Feed the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL), Dr. Vara Prasad, and USAID Bureau for Food Security Senior Sustainable Agricultural Systems Advisor, Dr. Jerry Glover, are visiting Africa RISING and SIIL projects in Tanzania this week to observe the progress being made in the field and identify opportunities for further collaboration. They are accompanied by one of the SIIL’s External Advisory Board Members, Dr. Peter Thorne of ILRI, as well as other team members from the SIIL and Africa RISING projects.
Innovation Lab addresses agricultural gender inequality in Cambodia through leadership, education and mechanization. (Photo credit: Molly Webb, SIIL)
Researchers with USAID’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification (SIIL) take a holistic approach to their work, looking at the ways in which their innovations affect all aspects of a farmer’s life. For SIIL investigators, gender dynamics are a constant issue of importance.
“The one thing we know is that so much is changing for women around the world. We want them to know enough so that they can respond to that change in positive and productive ways,” said sociologist Cornelia Flora, Emeritus Professor at Iowa State University, research professor at Kansas State University and member of the SIIL’s External Advisory Board.
In Cambodia, for example, gender equality is a national priority, but problems still persist.
“Male family members are moving away from villages into cities or going to other neighboring countries to find employment,” said Vara Prasad, director of the SIIL. “But the families still have to continue farming because they have the land and they can’t waste that, so those who are left must take over the farm. Those individuals are primarily women.” Continue reading “Sustainable Intensification Promotes Inclusive Farming Practices”
The Appropriate Scale Mechanization Innovation Hub-Burkina Faso recently received a nationally competitive grant to accelerate the process of scaling up the maize planter that was built and demonstrated at the Appropriate Scale Mechanization Field Hub in 2017. The submitted proposal, Mechanized Sowing of Maize with an Animal-Drawn Planter, was the top submission among 55 proposals received by the National Fund for Research and Innovation for Development (FONRID) in Burkina Faso. The proposal was in response to a call by FONRID for innovations poised to advance “Sustainable Intensification of Agro-Forestry and Pastoral Production.” After rigorous review by the Council of Science and Technology, it was concluded that the planter technology responds to an urgent need of smallholder farmers in their quest for national food security. The team received a grant of $18,666 that will supplement and accelerate the efforts to scale-up production and use of the planter (Fig. 1). FONRID’s support reaffirms that the Appropriate Scale Mechanization Consortium (ASMC) project is addressing an urgent agricultural need for smallholder farmers. Continue reading “Burkina Faso Innovation Hub Wins National Grant to Scale-Up Planter Technology”
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Sustainable Intensification (SIIL), based in Manhattan, Kansas, co-organized the inaugural conference focusing on food systems in Southeast Asia. 165 researchers from 16 countries converged in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from Jan. 10-13 for the First International Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition Conference, the first conference of its kind in Southeast Asia.