A project aimed at making agricultural research better serve the people’s needs and make them have their say about the future of food in four regions of the world, including Africa, will soon be embarked upon by the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), panapress reports Friday quoting a statement from the organisation.
“Over the three years, it will gather the views of small-scale farmers, indigeno us people, nomadic pastoralists, rural communities, food workers and other citizens in West Africa (Mali), South Asia (India), the West Asia (Iran) and Andean region of Latin America (Bolivia and Peru)”, the statement added.
The project will enable food producers, food workers and consumers to have their say about the kind of food and agricultural research they want in the four regions, with individual countries acting as hosts.
IIED initiatives come as the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report, launched simultaneously in several capitals including London, Paris and Washington, 15 April, finds that agriculture must be more ecological and locally relevant to protect the soils, biodiversity and livelihoods worldwide.
In the report, IAASTD gathered the views of hundreds of scientists, policy makers and others over three years.
It, however, did little to engage directly with farmers and consumers to incorporate their views in the final reports.
The IIED intend to correct this and build on the report.
“The new project will overcome this deficit (IAASTD report) and enable citizens to exercise their imagination to decide how to design a food and agriculture res e arch and policies that are accountable to wider society,” the statement explained.
According to the statement, publicly-funded research shapes the choices available to farmers, food workers and consumers globally, and this affects the environments in which people live and work.
It therefore stressed the increasing need to democratise the governance of Science and Technology, ensuring that it serves the public good rather than narrow economic interests.
In Bolivia and Mali, indigenous people, farmers and others will focus on how to transform research to achieve these nations’ policy of food sovereignty, which seeks to ensure that people are in control of what food is produced and how. Panapress .