17 August 2015
WYG is pleased to be part of a new five year programme dedicated to improving sustainable enterprise for smallholder farmers in Africa. The programme entitled ‘Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa’ (SAIRLA) will see a partnership working alongside the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at the University of Greenwich.
The programme SAIRLA will commission and manage competitive research grants and facilitate national and international learning alliances to encourage joint learning and innovation in the field of Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI).
SAI refers to producing more food in an environmentally friendly way with social equity. Increasing food production sustainably is not just about having appropriate agricultural technologies but also creating the right environment of policy support for finance, access to markets and knowledge amongst other issues.
Running from 2015–2020, SAIRLA will focus on sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on six countries, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. A key focus will be to assess how SAI can be promoted in ways that enable particularly women and poorer smallholders to participate in and benefit from agricultural development through SAI approaches.
The programme will do this by establishing a programme of competitive research grants. The Research Call will open in October 2015 with further information about the themes posted on the SAIRLA website.
Varsha Ramballey, Head of Sub Region - Southern Africa said: “We are delighted to be working with NRI on this project which we are confident through research findings, will enable farmers to care for the environment whilst increasing food production.”
“Nearly one billion people in the world do not have enough food to eat – and many of these are in Africa,” says Professor Jeremy Haggar, NRI’s lead scientist on this programme."
He added: “Food production has to be increased and the environment conserved to help some of the world's poorest communities. This new project with WYG, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) will help to unlock local potential for sustainable development and use knowledge to feed the world.”