New Association of Agricultural Research Centers Established

May 15, 2012 – MUSCLE SHOALS, Alabama, United States – IFDC is among nine research and development centers that launched the Association of International Research Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA) in March 2012. AIRCA was established as a platform for the organizations to make a combined impact on the Millennium Development Goals, particularly the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty.

“This partnership will help IFDC and other participating research centers collaborate more effectively to improve agricultural development and food security in developing countries,” said Dr. Richard Jones, agribusiness program leader for IFDC’s East and Southern Africa Division. Jones represented Dr. Amit Roy, IFDC president and CEO, during the first AIRCA meeting at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome, Italy. The Global Forum on Agricultural Research hosted the meeting, and FAO Director-General Dr. José Graziano da Silva addressed the organization representatives.

“A strong orientation toward problem-solving at a system level, rather than a focus on a single commodity, grounds AIRCA’s research and development actions in the day-to-day challenges experienced and articulated by the poor farming community in the developing world,” said Dr. Dyno Keatinge, vice-chair of the new association and director general of the World Vegetable Center.

The participating research centers have expertise in helping developing countries build their own research and development capacity to address agricultural and health-related issues. The diverse expertise and global reach of the organizations provide AIRCA with the linkages and capacity necessary to develop and execute scientific programs with strong local support and a high probability of attaining sustainable development outcomes. AIRCA will address flooding, drought, salinity, soil infertility, pests and diseases and their agricultural impact on human diets, health and prosperity.

In addition to IFDC, AIRCA partner institutions include:

  • World Vegetable Center (AVRDC)
  • Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI)
  • Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE)
  • Crops for the Future (CFF)
  • International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA)
  • International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
  • African Insect Science for Food and Health (icipe)
  • International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)

IFDC is a public international organization focusing on increasing and sustaining food security and agricultural productivity in developing countries through the development and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise. IFDC is governed by an international board of directors with representation from developed and developing nations. The non-profit Center is supported by bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, private foundations and national governments.

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Courtney Greene
+1 256-381-6600, ext. 357
cgreene@ifdc.org

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