Published on Nourishing the Planet, by Graham Salinger, February 25, 2012.
… In the Dodoma and Morogoro regions of Tanzania, IDRC is funding research that will help increase goat milk and meat production. The research, conducted by the University of Alberta and The Sokoine University of Agriculture, will test and analyze improved cassava and sweet potato varieties as part of a feeding strategy for dairy goats and efforts to strengthen food production.
This research highlights the importance of livestock production in the region. Goats rank second to cattle in the contribution of livestock to income and human nutrition, and 90 percent of rural households in Tanzania keep livestock.
In Burkina Faso , IDCR is helping five research institutions collaborate on strategies to improve crop yield in the Sahel, a dry area covering the southern edge of the Sahara desert that stretches from Senegal’s Atlantic coast to the Ethiopian highlands. The researchers hope to implement microdose fertilization techniques which involve using small amounts of fertilizer when planting or after the plants have grown. Coupled with technologies used to harvest water, microdose techniques have been shown to increase soil fertility and improve crop yield. Researchers hope to use microcredit loans to increase farmers’ access to these technologies.
Each year IDCR also gives a fellowship to masters and doctoral-level students, as well as recent graduates to do agricultural research focused on nutrition and food science in the developing world.
What are your thoughts on funded development programs? How can we do more to support effective and sustainable agriculture in the developing world? (full text).
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