By Staff Reporter
Irish agricultural knowledge can play a role in ending hunger and poverty for millions of people in the developing world.
That’s the belief behind a new consortium that brings the Irish agriculture and research sectors together with some of the country’s leading development charities.
Founder members of the new Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD) include the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Irish Aid, Teagasc, and agriculture science departments at UCG, UCC and UCD, along with leading international development charities Gorta-Self Help Africa, Vita, Concern Worldwide, Trocaire and Misean Cara, private companies like Sustainable Food Systems Ireland and Greenfield International and leading farmer associations ICMSA, ICSA, IFA and Macra na Feirme.
The new forum was formally launched by Minister of State for overseas development Joe McHugh in Dublin’s RDS on Thursday 13 October at an event attended by representatives from national and international agriculture, agri-business and development sectors.
The forum’s chair, Dr Lance O’Brien, head of strategy and international relations at Teagasc, said ahead of the launch: “This new initiative will create a platform to allow the knowledge, expertise and commitment of the Irish farming sector to be harnessed to deliver a more focused impact on addressing the challenge of food security in developing countries.”
Gorta chief executive Ray Jordan said that more than 70 per cent of people in the developing world directly relied on farming for their survival.
“If even a fraction of the learning and successes of Irish agriculture would be transposed to Africa and other poorer regions, it would lift many millions of people out of extreme poverty,” he added.
Speakers on the day included Dr Ousmane Badiane, Africa director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Paul Winters, director of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD).
For more information visit www.ifiad.org.