ACIAR SDIP Steering Committee Meeting
The ACIAR SDIP Steering Committee met over two days in Kathmandu on the 14th – 15th February, to coincide with a participatory learning workshop on ‘Foresight for Food Systems in the Eastern Gangetic Plains’. On the afternoon of the 14th, the full Steering Committee joined the workshop to observe the process and to provide feedback on proposed studies for the next phase of work. This was followed by a formal reception attended by HE Mr Pete Budd, the Australian Ambassador to Nepal, and hosted by ACIAR CEO Professor Andrew Campbell.
The formal Steering Committee meeting was held on the morning of the 15th, and again attended by HE Mr Pete Budd, DFAT SDIP Manager Ms Emma Stone, and several of the DFAT SDIP Advisors. An update on program progress was presented by the ACIAR SDIP team. Comments on the work of the program were wide-ranging, providing a depth of insight into the context for SDIP studies.
Issues which generated discussion and debate included the importance of positioning SDIP work on conservation agriculture in the broader context of the considerable body of work on this topic in the region; the challenges associated with very small landholding sizes; opportunities for diversification beyond cropping; the consideration of nutrition as a key issue in production choices; the importance of understanding the nuanced interactions between gender, livelihood and nutrition; and the context specific nature of groundwater availability and dynamics, where much (though not all) of the EGP has alluvial aquifer systems that are under-utilized.
These comments and discussions will be helpful in shaping the work of ACIAR SDIP over the remainder of SDIP Phase 2.
For more information, please contact Dr Kuhu Chatterjee (firstname.lastname@example.org).