Saturday, January 31, 2009


"In addition to direct help for small farms, donors should provide more help for the research and development needed to identify new high-yielding seed varieties, especially to breed plants that can withstand temporary flooding, excess nitrogen, salty soils, crop pests, and other challenges to sustainable food production. Helping the poor with today's technologies, while investing in future improved technologies, is the optimum division of labour.

This investment pays off wonderfully, with research centres such as the International Rice Research Institute and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre providing the high-yield seeds and innovative farming strategies that together triggered the Asian green revolution. These centres are not household names, but they deserve to be. Their scientific breakthroughs have helped to feed the world, and we'll need more of them."

I'm all for science and technology to support vulnerable livelihoods, but I'd really like to see an impact assessment study carried out by the target population. Especially on how these institutions and their technological solutions have helped alleviate poverty. Also, how come they call this a "new initiative"? This is the same 1960's solution repackaged.

1 comment:

Radha Friedman said...

Very interesting blog! You might be interested in some of our research on the impact of secure land rights for rural families: