The International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), a Nairobi based global insect research center has embarked on forming partnerships with the public and private sector to help in delivering the outcomes of research.
The institution has already formed partnerships with private organizations in Kenya, Mali and Morocco to deliver various biopesticides and fruit fly attractant products.
“Our research is now aimed at benefitting African smallholder farmers who still struggle to access knowledge and technologies that they can afford, adapt and adopt to improve their lives,” ICIPE’s Director General Dr. Segenet Kelemu said during a science day.
ICIPE is realigning, refocusing and evolving to maintain and improve on research capability and relevance to take advantage of new research technologies, address emerging challenges and deliver development impacts for Africa.
She noted that the institution is moving towards employing a far wider set of partners to ensure that research outputs with the best possible opportunities to be adopted.
“Research for development must continue to focus on ensuring that technologies are readily transferable and accessible to target communities,” she added.
She observed that in order to empower farmers, development investments must be matched by ideas and actions that support adoption and provide development outcomes for smallholder farmers and the associated value chain participant.
Kelemu said that Africa’s is today better position to seize opportunities in education, research, trade, land and water resources.
African education at all levels continues to improve as does the number and quality of African scientists.
Trade barriers are being dismantled and the challenges associated with supply of land and water is also spurring innovations to make agriculture more efficient.
Kelemu called for the inclusion of all genders to help increase the productivity of agriculture and livestock systems and improve food nutrition security.
“ICIPE’s goals of developing new tools and technologies and getting them into the hands of Africans, to increase their agricultural productivity and to protect their health,” the Chairman of ICIPE Professor Bill Hansson said.
He said that agricultural production yields are still below world averages in many areas of Africa and access to high value export markets still remains a challenge for African producers.
He called on development partners to support shared goal of increasing food security and health in Africa.
The past decade has seen greater focus on the potential impacts of increasing population and climate change on various regions in the continent.
Climate change scientists have recognized insects and related arthropods as being among the most efficient organisms in range expansion and in adapting to new environments.