SLU news

Conference panel on how to achieve food and water security with viable business models

Published: 30 August 2016

Salme Timmusk from the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, SLU, was the convener of the panel "Food and water security via viable business models" at the Development Conference, 22-24 August.

The Development Research Conference took place at the Stockholm University main campus, Frescati. The conference was organised by Stockholm University, VR and SIDA. While significant consensus has been attained around a set of 17 UN sustainable development goals, their materialization calls for serious reflection and bridging to local conditions. Around 500 participants from more than 40 countries discussed the issues on various panels and at five networking events.

Among the questions that was discussed was:

  • How should academic institutions interact?
  • What is the role of knowledge production in the new policy context?

Salme Timmusk from the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, SLU, was the convener of the panel "Food and water security via viable business models", She reflected on the assumptions and notions of progress underlying her own and collaborators work.

How do you reduce the vulnerability of countries to climate change?

In order to reduce vulnerability of the countries to climate change, agricultural technologies applied should be environmentally friendly (i), ensure high productivity (ii) and be suitable for small-holder farmers adaptation (iii).

These goals can only be achieved via development of innovative interdisciplinary technologies. Agriculture is imbedded in a political and socio-economic environment and any innovative technology  must be scaled for the local business environment. Hence multiscale action is highly required and according to the plan used by Panel 36,  businesses have to be connected to outreach centres such as educational and  marginal vulnerable group supporting centres. 

Dr. Timmusk's research group together with Drs. Gulaim Seisenbaeva (Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, SLU) and Rodomiro Ortiz (Department of Plant Breeding, SLU) presented their research innovations.

Dr Gulaim Seisenbaeva (Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, SLU)  presents her research innovations. Photo: Salme Timmusk.

Lawrence Behers from Dr. Timmusk research group presenting results on application crop plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) for soil sustainable engineering. PGPR work as great tools to recover decertified agricultural soil and increasing crop yields not expanding agricultural areas.

Promising research results for low income countries

Implementation of the research results on the areas of soil sustainable engineering using crop plant growth promoting microorganisms, water purification and plant breeding in low income countries are promising. In the triangular model of Panel 36 multidisciplinary research innovations are implemented in training centres called  Farmers Field Schools (FFS) which are connected to outreach centres in the low income countries. This is favoured by Swedish patenting policy.

Henrik Sjölander from ArosPatent AB explained Swedish policy and where Sweden stands out, compared to the other helping countries. Namely, based on Swedish law the researcher is the owner of his discoveries and is entitled to the intellectual property rights for the discoveries made in Sweden.







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