SEARCA Joins the World Food Day Colloquium 2013 in Stuttgart, Germany
Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. at University of Hohenheim for the World Food Day Colloquium 2013
STUTTGART, Germany — SEARCA Director, Dr. Gil Saguiguit, Jr. and Dr. Bessie Burgos, Acting Program Head for Research and Development, attended this year's World Food Day Colloquium on 16 October 2013 at Schloss Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany, through the sponsorship of the Food Security Center (FSC) of the University of Hohenheim. The Colloquium was organized jointly by the FSC and the Institute of Agricultural Engineering, University of Hohenheim.
Themed Water Efficiency for Food Security, the Colloquium stressed the importance of water resource management to address global food security. It featured the following presentations and discussion: keynote speech on "Water for food: Strategies to adapt to global change"; Justus von Liebig Award for World Nutrition 2013; young scientists' perspectives on water pricing for water saving; and insights of selected scientists and experts on how to increase food security by improving water use efficiency.
Dr. Judy Libra, Keynote Speaker of the World Food Day Colloquium 2013The keynote speaker, Dr. Judy Libra of the Department of Technology Assessment and Substance Cycles Leibniz-Institut fÃ¼r Agrartechnik Potsdam-Bornim e.V., Germany, discussed the global challenge of improving water productivity of farming systems ("more crop per drop") to meet food demands of growing world population. She introduced the concept of green and blue water resources paradigm in farm water management. Dr. Libra explained the two types of water resources used in food production - the blue water resources (ground and surface water) for irrigation, and green water resources (soil and rain water) in rainfed areas. She observed that the common focus of water sector/policy is water for irrigation, but emphasized the need to strike a balance between green and blue water resources in farm management strategies considering that rainfed agriculture constitutes 80% of the global agriculture. According to Dr. Libra, the prerequisites to improving blue and green water use in farm management are to quantify water use, calculate water demand at farm scale and recommend the most suitable options for individual farms worldwide.
Dr. Zhu Ling, Justus von Liebig Awardee for World Nutrition 2013This year's Justus von Liebig Award is given to Dr. Zhu Ling of the Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China. She earned her PhD degree on Agro-economics from the University of Hohenheim in 1988 and was Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute from 2006 to 2012. She was cited for her work that significantly contributed to food and nutrition security in China. She gave a brief presentation on China's policy and institutional reforms on agriculture, health, and nutrition that improved food security and reduced poverty level in her country.
SEARCA has strong interest on the topic of water efficiency in the agriculture sector in view of its 9th Five Year Plan's thrust on natural resource management and its forthcoming Umbrella Program on Food Security for Southeast Asia.
SEARCA is one of the five strategic partners of FSC. Under the FSC-SEARCA collaboration, several capacity building activities have been organized including the FSC Summer School 2013 which will be hosted by SEARCA from 1 to 30 November 2013. The FSC Summer School is conducted annually by FSC through its regional and strategic partners. It aims to provide additional knowledge, learning skills, and exposure to graduate and postdoctoral students on various topics related to food security to enhance their graduate programs. (Bessie M. Burgos)