Ag Tech and Research News

Integrated Desert Farming Systems at Science Week 2024

On behalf of collaborating CGIAR Centers, partners, and stakeholders who played a vital role in its development, ICARDA is hosting a side event on the Integrated Desert Farming Systems during Science Week in Nairobi, Kenya.

02 July 2024, Kenya: We invite you to join ICARDA Director General Aly Abousabaa, ICRISAT Director General Jacqueline Hughes, and other distinguished speakers and partners for an insightful and strategic discussion on transforming food systems for resilient dryland livelihoods through integrated desert farming systems.

The event will explore dryland food production challenges and showcase CGIAR’s groundbreaking IDFS approaches. Speakers will address how regional collaboration with CGIAR centers and partners on agri-science, improved policies, and increased investment in desert farming research will help agriculture adapt to and mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis.

The Integrated Desert Farming Systems (IDFS) Initiative is a pioneering agricultural approach designed to generate sustainable food systems in previously untenable hot and water-scarce areas. This strategic collaboration between ICARDA, ICRISAT, WorldFish, IFPRI, and IWMI harnesses new technologies and innovative agri-research to transform hyper-arid, arid, semi-arid, and dry subhumid drylands and deserts into food production powerhouses, securing a food- and nutrition-secure future for millions living in these regions and beyond.

Desert farming sustains millions across the world’s dry regions, but escalating climate change, rapid population growth, and unsustainable practices pose significant threats. Addressing these challenges through resilient and sustainable desert farming is now an urgent priority. IDFS emphasizes enhanced agri-food systems by promoting sustainable management of land, soil, water, climate, crops, and trees. This initiative aligns with climate change mitigation and supports the sustainable development goals outlined at COP28.

Speakers will also cover the integrated components of desert farming, such as water management, climate-smart crops, aquaculture, community livestock breeding, and desert agroforestry. These elements work together to transform desert farming into robust and climate-resilient agri-food systems. The event will underscore the need for funding to optimize current and future innovations and will focus on how research can shape favorable policies to maximize advancements in desert farming.

The event aims to:

  • Share sister center technologies with a broad audience
  • Highlight country and community needs for climate-resilient food systems and propose integrated desert farming as a solution
  • Discuss ways to facilitate investment in agricultural research and development
  • Outline how integrated desert farming systems can be replicated globally
  • Raise the visibility of integrated desert farming systems and their transformative potential for climate-resilient and sustainable agri-food systems

Current speakers (to be updated):

  • Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, EMD CGIAR
  • Mr. Aly Abousabaa – ICARDA Director General, CWANA Regional Director CGIAR
  • Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Co-Chair NGIC, & former VP World Bank/Chairman CGIAR 
  • Dr. Stanford Blade, DDGR, ICRISAT 

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