Ceres2030 megareview spots problem with research on hunger

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The researchers found many studies that conclude that smallholders are more likely to adopt new approaches — specifically, planting climate-resilient crops — when they are supported by technical advice, input and ideas, collectively known as extension services.

…as I cry quietly…

Ceres2030 researchers found that the overwhelming majority of studies they assessed — more than 95% — were not relevant to the needs of smallholders and their families. Moreover, few studies included original data.

…in a corner.

Many researchers — most notably those attached to the CGIAR network of agricultural research centres around the world — do work with smallholder farmers. But in larger, research-intensive universities, small is becoming less desirable. Increasingly, university research-strategy teams want their academics to bid for larger grants — especially if a national research-evaluation system gives more credit to research income.

Full list of recommendations:

  • Enable participation in farmers’ organizations.
  • Invest in vocational programs for rural youth that offer integrated training in multiple skills.
  • Scale up social protection programs.
  • Investment in extension services, particularly for women, must accompany research and development (R&D) programs.
  • Agricultural interventions to support sustainable practices must be economically viable for farmers.
  • Support adoption of climate-resilient crops.
  • Increase research on water-scarce regions to scale up effective farm-level interventions to assist small scale producers.
  • Improve the quantity and quality of livestock feed, especially for small and medium-scale commercial farms.
  • Reduce post-harvest losses by expanding the focus of interventions beyond the storage of cereals, to include more links in the value chain, and more food crops.
  • Invest in the infrastructure, regulations, services and technical assistance needed to support SMEs in the value chain.

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