From Lab to Field: The Role of Development Cooperation in Bridging the Gap Between Increasing Knowledge and Decreasing Resources
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Rural Development and Agriculture, Germany
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has long-standing experiences in bringing knowledge and practice together for the improvement of agricultural production systems in developing and transition countries. For more than 15 years, GIZ supports international agricultural research of the CGIAR global research partnership as well as The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe). Innovations produced by international agricultural research include, amongst others, improved varieties, management techniques, and diagnostic tools. They are not only integrated in farming systems by national research and extension systems, but also promoted and scaled up through international development cooperation. In Vietnam, for instance, GIZ and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have been closely working together to develop and promote salt-tolerant rice varieties and alternative management practices which so far reached thousands of farmers and increased their income substantially. Moreover, GIZ is running a programme on Innovation Transforming Agriculture-Adaptation to Climate Change (ITAACC), which aims at matching supply for innovations based on international agricultural research and demand from farmers for agricultural innovations in Africa. Besides this, GIZ also develops innovations together with partners in bilateral or regional projects as well as in sectorial projects and integrates them in farmer's productions systems in close cooperation with farmers and partner organisations. For example, in several countries in sub-Sahara Africa, GIZ promoted the development and refinement of water-spreading weirs that offer improved water management technics to entire river basins and increased yields by 25 to 90 percent. GIZ is also strongly committed to strengthen the role of gender in agricultural development and maximise its potentials: yield increases up to 30 percent are possible, should women receive the same support, inputs and trainings as men do. In order to sustain the momentum of bringing knowledge and innovations into use in agriculture on a large scale, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development launched major new initiatives. In cooperation with GIZ, it will establish agricultural innovation centres in Africa, which will link research, value chain management and training, and setup a global programme for soil fertility management.
Keywords: Development cooperation, international cooperation
Contact Address: Christel Weller-Molongua, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Rural Development and Agriculture, Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg 1 - 5, 65760 Eschborn, Germany, e-mail: schmidt_hehweb.de