The ISPC Science Forum 2016 will be co-hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and held from 12-14 April 2016 in Addis Ababa addressing the topic of: “Agricultural research for rural prosperity: rethinking the pathways.”

A breakout session which will serve as a documented discussion on how agricultural research on Nutrient-dense climate-resilient future crops has or can contribute to poverty reduction is being organized. (Click to read the background paper)

The session, one of the four break-out sessions on the first day of the forum (12 April) focuses on two classes of “Future Crops”, grain legumes and millets. Within these classes, specific crops were selected for the discussion based on proven examples of income generation, nutritional value, climate resilience and/or soil-health benefits. Usually called “orphan” crops, some of these are gradually coming under the banner of “smart food,” “climate smart” and “future crops.”

The one-hour session will address three specific questions in three groups. Success stories leading to income generation in subsistence farming in some of these crops will be discussed.

The following crucial, timely questions will be explored to probe the potential of these “Future Crops” towards improving food, nutrition and income security under climate change.

  • What is the role of the “Future Crops” in the subsistence to market-orientation continuum?
  • Where and how have opportunities for step changes in productivity enhancements for the “Future Crops” led to increased income?
  • Does the extreme climate resilience of some of these “Future Crops” offer decreased risks to the poor in dryland regions? If yes, how?

Dr Shoba Sivasankar, Director, CGIAR Research Programs on Dryland Cereals and on Grain Legumes is coordinating the session. Speakers and contributors of the session include: Kassahun Tesfaye, Assistant Professor, Institute of Biotechnology, Addis Ababa University; Aissetou Yaye, Executive Secretary of the African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE); Alexandre Dansi, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin; Feyera Senbeta, Associate Professor of College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University; Festo Massawe, Professor and Head, School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus

The last two Science Fora focused on research and partnership issues related to the CGIAR System Level Outcomes (SLOs) on agriculture and the environment and the potential contribution of agriculture to nutrition and health outcomes. With the new CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework having 3 SLOs, the ISPC considers that the 2016 Science Forum (SF16) should focus on the SLO which has not yet been addressed in a SF– the contribution of agriculture to reducing poverty.

Visit the Forum website for full program