Michigan State University delegation to Southeast Asia

20 November, 2015 by (comments)
Sustainable food systems and urbanization were among key themes for future collaboration.

Sustainable food systems and urbanization were among key themes for future collaboration.

Michigan State University and CIAT kicked off a series of seminars and meetings across Southeast Asia on November Saturday 7th. The delegation of researchers from MSU met with CIAT’s local partners in Vietnam for a two-day seminar to discuss potential collaboration before travelling to Cambodia and other countries in the region.

During discussions in Ho Chi Minh City, delegates discussed regional challenges, including water shortages for rain-fed crops and tapping local expertise and extension services to get important messages to farmers, especially about implications of climate change.

Rapid urbanization, data collection, intensified demographic and infrastructure change, land use change, and disaster risk management were also discussed as areas requiring further investment and research.

Three specific areas which might lend themselves to future collaborative research between CIAT, MSU and regional partners included:

 Water: Quantity and quality in the face of climate change. In particular, cross-border issues need to be addressed – such as precipitation patters affecting flood systems throughout the Mekong River.

 Land Use: Improved coordination for water resource management and data collection.

 Geography / Geospatial technologies: potential collaboration to establish a set guidelines for sustainable intensification of agricultural crops.

 Presentations from CIAT covered research underway on sustainable food systems; climate modeling and tools to assess climate-smart agricultural practices and suitability for given areas; cassava integrated crop management; soil modeling and data collection.

From MSU, presentations on possible areas of collaboration included urbanization, the use of big data solutions in assessing soils for agricultural suitability, related to agricultural production trends and social factors and water management modeling.

Concluding areas of synergies are: 

  • Take the data we have to use to capture the knowledge and share: MSU have strong modeling capabilities which can complement CIAT’s modeling techniques.
  • Urban linkages and food systems: different skill sets and crop suitability analysis of interventions is possible.
  • Water and soil interface: possibility to collaborate on research in urban and food systems; land use change; climate-change resilience.
  • Disaster risk preparedness and sustainable agriculture for development.
  • How supply and demand are linked: regional food systems – how sustainable and safe is it?
  • Capacity development and building
  • How to communicate with different decision makers, including policy makers, translating research into action
  • Analysis of value chains from production to the market
  • Collaborating on specific ecosystem management

Further discussions will be conducted in the coming months.

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Filed Under: Inside Asia, Inside CIAT