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K-State Today

August 23, 2022

Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab hosts annual meeting in Cambodia

Submitted by Layne Davis

Participants at SIIL Annual Meeting at Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia

The Feed the Future Lab on Collaborative Research for Sustainable Intensification at Kansas State University hosted its 2022 annual meeting June 23-25 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. More than 100 participants attended the meeting, including research partners and funding recipients of the lab, along with nine representatives from distinct United States Agency for International Development missions and Washington, D.C.

Leadership from the Ministry of Cambodia, Royal University of Agriculture, also attended, along with private sector entities and other projects, including the American Soybean Association and the lab's external advisory board. Participants included individuals from 13 countries.

On the first day, each project and consortium had a promotional video and a presentation highlighting their research on sustainable agriculture innovations, followed by a question-and-answer session. This provided time for engagement and multidisciplinary collaboration between the various projects and consortia.

The second day was called the "International Delegation Day and Knowledge Sharing" day, hosted at the Royal University of Agriculture. Multiple panel discussions included delegates from external partners of the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification and Nutrition, or CE SAIN, faculty and students at the university, West Africa and the USAID Mission from Guatemala, Haiti and West Africa. These discussions reflected on the development and success of CE SAIN from these various perspectives.

The last day of the meeting included traveling to visit different Agricultural Technology Parks, where participants could view several innovations being showcased in Cambodia while having time to engage and collaborate with other partners in the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab's other focus countries.

K-State President Richard Linton provided welcome remarks on the "International Delegation Day and Knowledge Sharing" day of the meeting. He expressed gratitude to USAID and the lab for their commitment to making positive impacts on the environment.

"Through our continued partnership with USAID, the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab will forge a path that utilizes innovative research and extension approaches to secure a better future for smallholder farmers," Linton said.

Charles Taber, provost and executive vice president of K-State, spoke about the importance of the innovations and research that the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab executes.

"New innovations and discoveries in research and policies are needed to improve production and access to nutritious food to all," Taber said. "The lab has contributed many innovations which are relevant and needed, and many are shared during this annual meeting and field visits."

David Rosowsky, vice president for research, praised the dedication of the K-State Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab to its goals.

"The Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab is a strong example of K-State's commitment to high-quality research and innovation, providing tangible, positive impacts to smallholder farmers," Rosowsky said.

"The activities of the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab fit the mission and values of the College of Agriculture at K-State," said Ernie Minton, dean of the college and director of K-State Research and Extension. "We will continue to support the work being done by the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab and look forward to the ways our partnership will continue to yield positive results around the globe."

Vara Prasad, university distinguished professor and director of the Sustainable Intensification Innovation LabL, highlighted the collaboration and commitment of the lab's goals across the globe.

"We have the ability to identify problems, solutions and options through research and translate those into appropriate innovations for smallholder farmers," Prasad said. "The Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab has formed networks and established, partnerships and collaborations with different organizations in host countries around the world to identify innovations and technologies that will have positive impacts on livelihoods of people, and also helps to build human, institutional and social capital."

Comments from USAID partners included appreciating the immensity of the lab's portfolio, the positive engagement through the meeting and the dedicated work to find innovative ways to combat global food and nutritional security.

To view all presentation and highlight videos from each project and consortium, sign up for the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab newsletter by emailing siil@k-state.edu