Council Corner April 2013

IRSA Council member Professor Lutgarda Tolentino moves to new position at WorldFish

Associate Professor Lutgarda Tolentino who is currently at the Agricultural Systems Cluster, College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines Los Banos is about to take up a new role. From June this year she will be moving to WorldFish, a CGIAR research centre, as a Knowledge Action Researcher. She will be involved in R&D work for the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems in the Philippines. AAS are diverse farming systems where families cultivate a range of crops, raise livestock, farm or catch fish, gather fruits, and harness natural resources such as timber, reeds and wildlife. Aquatic Agricultural Systems occur where the rural environment exists within or alongside freshwater flood plains, coastal deltas and inshore marine waters. They are characterized by their dependence on seasonal changes in productivity, driven by seasonal variation in rainfall, river flow and/or coastal and marine processes.

As the Program Brief 2011-14 of the WorldFish states, more than 700 million people depend on aquatic agricultural systems for their livelihoods, but the constraints they face mean that a third or more live on less than $1.25 a day. There is a concern within the community development profession that many of the international public goods such as improved crop varieties and management packages have made limited contributions to improving the lives of these poorest and most marginalized people. To overcome this situation CGIAR is moving away from supply-driven approaches (research-for-development) to a much more demand-driven approach (research-in-development) to create solutions to current constraints. The research-in-development approach employs participatory action research methodology to initiate and support processes that have the potential to transform these communities in a way which will help to overcome poverty.

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