CIDA is committed to an inclusive approach to digital agriculture that broadens participation in our research and education activities. Our outreach activities span three primary realms: the Global South, minority-serving institutions, and trans-disciplinarity.
Sharing the 2022 Africa Agriculture Status Report, which emphasized the importance of digital agriculture in Africa, at the African Green Revolution Forum Summit 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda, September 2002 are (from L to R) Dr. Agnes Kalibata (president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), Hailemariam Desalegn (AGRF, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia), Dr. Edouard Ngirente (Prime Minister of Rwanda), Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana (Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources Rwanda), and Dr. Ed Mabaya (CIDA executive committee member and Research Professor, Cornell University).
The problems of sustainably feeding the world’s population extend far beyond our NY state base. Thus, although we are committed to helping our local farmers, we also want to learn from and work with farmers around the globe. We are engaging in outreach to African institutional partners to form partnerships aimed at educational programs and research projects that will bring teams of students and faculty researchers together with farmers, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and agricultural entrepreneurs to address pressing problems. Such collaboration can also bring novel technologies and innovations currently serving resource-poor farmers in the Global South to small farms in New York.
Photo Credit: RJ Anderson
Historically, minority farmers have been disadvantaged by government programs and agencies that have constrained the aid available to them. Today, broad efforts are underway to address the inequalities that resulted from such discrimination. At CIDA, we understand that we have resources that minority-serving institutions may lack, and that they have expertise and knowledge that we may lack. In addition, these institutions know better than we do the problems facing minority farmers in their geographical area. We aim to partner with several key minority-serving institutions, building deep, ongoing relationships to jointly define and carry out teaching, research, and outreach projects that leverage our combined strengths and allow us to tackle pressing problems with innovative perspectives and approaches.
CIDA is supported by four colleges at Cornell: the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. While these four colleges provide the foundational expertise required to develop digital agricultural solutions to agriculture and food systems problems, other types of expertise are needed as well. In addition to animal, plant, and soil scientists, engineers, computer and information scientists, and veterinary medicine scientists, digital agriculture solutions need for their successful design and implementation the participation of a wide range of social scientists and other experts, including economists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, geographers, political scientists, and scholars of law, labor, government, communication, and science and technology studies to ensure that technological solutions to agricultural and food systems problems take into account the social, cultural, legal, and organizational contexts in which they are implemented.
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