location Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dates July 2010 – June 2013 project team Keith Holmes Dirk Babendreier
partnering to help DPR Korea improve food security
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea) faces annual shortages in national food production. Improving food security by protecting its crops against pests and diseases is vital.
so what’s the problem? Much of DPR Korea’s research community lacks the resources necessary to be able to conduct effective scientific studies, which are needed to enable food security to be improved.
what is this project doing? Funded by Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, this partnership project aims to strengthen the knowledge and in-house applied research capacity of DPR Korea’s Academy of Agricultural Sciences (AAS), which works to provide solutions to the country’s agricultural problems. Improved efficiency at the research and development level is likely to result in sustainable increases in agricultural productivity, which in turn will enhance food security and improve nutrition for the population as a whole, especially the vulnerable. Through participatory learning, project partners will gain experience in problem identification, experimental design, data analysis, and the presentation of results. They will learn the importance of communicating research-related experiences and knowledge with their peers, and through the systematic sharing of ideas and experiences will help to build an effective communication network between researchers, research institutes and
KNOWLEDGE FOR LIFE
farms. This will provide the framework for a system able to facilitate timely responses to agricultural production problems. To support capacity building in the partner institutes, the project will also provide material resources for experimentation and communication where they are urgently needed.
results so far Scientific staff of the AAS are now able to support the development and implementation of their research by accessing the internet and online resources, including our own – a big achievement. We have enhanced the infrastructure so that AAS staff can communicate more easily with both each other and other stakeholders. Internet access for off-site institutes has also been improved, so national and international scientific knowledge is now more readily available to them. It is hoped that this will improve crop production methods and enhance food security. To enhance the ability of AAS staff to design, carry out, and analyze their research, a workshop was held introducing them to experimental design and statistical analysis, and the application of these to their own research. Supported by CABI, Kim Il Sung University – Pyongyang Agricultural University (AAS-PAU) has developed this into a new course. With funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), AAS-PAU has produced a course manual and made 150 copies available to students. A select number of AAS staff have also received training in communicating scientific information. They used these new skills to create posters and presentations for an international conference, and then attended the 24th International Working Group of Ostrinia and other Maize Pests (IWGO) in October 2011 in Germany, where they presented two posters and gave two presentations. An international symposium focusing on current pest monitoring and forecasting and assessing future needs has been held at AAS. This first Joint AAS-CABI Scientific Symposium provided an excellent opportunity – involving lively and detailed discussions – for local partner scientists to discuss pest monitoring and forecasting with international experts. It also proved a useful and timely forum in which ideas for future implementation could be developed. In addition to providing direct support to knowledge transfer and providing information, the ability of AAS to provide training has also been enhanced. With support from this project, the AAS Training Facility accommodation block has been renovated and 12 rooms completely refitted, making it easier for AAS to host scientists and agricultural staff from outside Pyongyang and thus improving its capacity to train and disseminate knowledge nationally.
www.cabi.org/dprkpp sponsor Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid
contact CABI, Rue des Grillons 1, CH-2800, Delémont, Switzerland T: +41 (0)32 421 4870 F: +41 (0)32 421 4871 E: europe-CH@cabi.org www.cabi.org/switzerland
Keith Holmes, Project Manager