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Irish Aid and Teagasc sign historic agricultural development agreement

Agriculture, News/feature, Africa, Ireland, 2015
Teagas and Irish Aid sign historical agricultural development agreement

Minister Seán Sherlock signing a memorandum of understanding with Teagasc on an agricultural development agreement.

Irish Aid and Teagasc sign historic agricultural development agreement

Minister  Seán Sherlock signed a memorandum of understanding between Irish Aid and Teagasc on Friday 20th of February 2015, which aims to harness Teagasc’s expertise in agricultural development to boost food productivity and support Ireland’s objective of reducing hunger and under nutrition in its key partner countries.

Speaking at Teagasc’s Moorepark Research Institute in Fermoy, Co. Cork, the Minister said that a major challenge in increasing agricultural productivity is ‘getting the knowledge to the people that need, in the right time and in the right way.’

“Research and innovation are vital for farmers everywhere. Irish Aid and Teagasc can bring agricultural research and knowledge into the field and make it work.” he added.

Under the agreement, Irish Aid will identify areas in food security and nutrition programmes where Teagasc can provide support.

Under the agreement, Irish Aid will identify areas in food security and nutrition programmes where Teagasc can provide support. Envisaged areas of collaboration include scientific and technical advice; capacity building relationships with national agricultural research institutions such as in Ethiopia and Malawi; and establishing linkages between the Irish Agricultural Research sector and CGIAR – the Global Agricultural Research Partnership.

The new partnership between Irish Aid and Teagasc is in line with Ireland’s policy for international development - One World One Future - which emphasises the need for a whole of government approach for development, and for other enhanced partnerships with Irish institutions - such as Teagasc - that can support and enhance Ireland’s development goals.

Support for improving the productivity of smallholder farmers to combat hunger is a central priority of the Irish Aid programme, and agricultural research is playing a critical role in tackling the challenges of food insecurity and hunger in developing countries.

Irish Aid funded programmes are making a difference. In institutions such as the Tigray Agricultural Research Institute in northern Ethiopia, innovative techniques have led to the development of more productive, drought resistant crops, with increased yields for smallholder farmers.

An estimated 80% of the people in developing countries depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Therefore an inclusive, productive and sustainable agriculture will be crucial to meeting the problems of under nutrition and hunger, which affects an estimated 1 billion people worldwide