Collaborating to solve problems facing agriculture

July 24th, 2018

Agriculture has issues

We need to feed and nourish a growing global population. To do this we must increase agricultural production and reduce waste throughout the food system. At the same time, agriculture needs to use less resources, minimise negative environmental impacts and adapt to climate change.

Together we can solve them

To find solutions to some of the big problems facing agriculture, CSIRO and University of California, Davis met in July 2018 to identify collaboration opportunities and develop an action plan.

Over two days we got to know each institution’s capabilities and established areas of research and development that are complementary and of mutual interest.

Mario Herrero, Daniel Mason-D’Croz, Javier Navarro and Jeda Palmer represented the Global Food and Nutrition Security group at the workshop. Mario and Daniel presented on the sustainable development goals, highlighting how they are interconnected with each other, how agriculture fits into the space, and the innovations we will need to achieve them. Mario and Javier presented our group’s capabilities, research, and aspirations that contribute to sustainable development goals.

In creative think tank sessions, experts from many disciplines identified important issues in agriculture. These included:

  • Agricultural diversification
  • Global nutrition
  • Transformative technologies
  • Water resources
  • Soil systems
  • Livestock systems
  • Digital agriculture
  • Post-harvest systems
  • Climate change

The plan

Collectively, participants from CSIRO and University of California, Davis agreed that to deliver solutions to achieve the sustainable development goals we should prioritise collaboration in the areas of global nutrition, transformative technologies, digital agriculture, and water resource management. To find solutions to the challenges in these areas we will establish projects, attend joint workshops, and facilitate exchange programs between the two organisations. We cannot wait to get started!

Photo credit: Jeda Palmer.