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Friday, August 17, 2012


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Dear Howdy,

Nutrition is a key issue, at the interface between agriculture and health. Bringing people from different disciplines to tackle nutrition problems was very much needed, and this is certainly an achievement HarvestPlus can be proud of. But the barriers (and silos) do exist not only between disciplines, but also between institutions, funding agencies, and countries. Today we continue to mostly spread limited resources across a huge number of projects funded by one agency, in one country, for one issue addressed by one institution, projects that are very much related to others, addressed by other institutions funded by other agencies in neighboring countries, etc. Our world is full of barriers and silos and much more should be done, à la mode of HarvestPlus.
ERAfrica, the European Research Area Network for Africa, is bringing together ca. 20 African and European funding agencies to support joint activities (see http://www.erafrica.eu). I wish we could do more of the same at the global scale, bringing US and Chinese agencies, among others, to join the same European effort. A key target of ERAfrica is precisely to address issues that, like nutrition, are at interfaces between key challenges like agriculture and health. We know such issues can only be addressed collectively, and neither by one single institution nor even one big funding agency. ERAfrica is opened to dialog with all interested parties. We need to work together.

Kind regards

Dr. Yves Savidan
ERAfrica Coordinator
Pretoria, South Africa

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