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Input sought on new study on improving African and SE Asian farmers’ production abilities

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $955,000 to the National Research Council’s Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources for a study to identify new scientific knowledge and promising technology with the potential to transform the production capabilities of farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The NRC Board is seeking input on the study.

Looking beyond today’s proven technologies, the study will focus on identifying emerging innovations to identify the next generation of tools, including those that may be highly uncertain but have the potential to be powerful, and that draw on cutting-edge developments in a broad range of scientific fields.

In the study’s first phase, experts from different scientific fields will explore the technological horizon in disciplines ranging from agronomy and genomics to information science, materials science, chemistry, engineering, and other fields, in search of innovations that can promote sustainable crop and animal production in these developing regions of the world. In a second phase, the study will identify steps needed to develop the most promising ideas into field-testable agricultural applications.

Several workshops will be held to gather information and identify synergies between scientific disciplines in and outside of agriculture. The Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources encourages the world’s scientific and engineering communities to contribute ideas from the frontiers of their fields that may have beneficial applications for agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Ideas may be sent to banr@nas.edu, Attention: Michael Ma.

This message was delivered by the Division on Earth & Life Studies at the National Academies. Please direct general inquires to dels-webmaster@nas.edu.

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