Inaugural Seminar: The Nexus of Agriculture, Environment and Livelihoods

On September 10, the AgCenter held its inaugural seminar — The Nexus of Agriculture, Environment and Livelihoods. Opened with a lively keynote speech from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from Nigeria, Dr. Akin Adesina, the seminar included panels with leading voices from academia, the private sector, and international organizations. The day-long seminar also included a demonstration of several tools and technologies of the AgCenter and others, including SoilDoc, the Africa Soil Information Service, and Vital Signs, as well as others. For the agenda, see here. To read Minister Adesina’s speech, see here.

Watch the keynote speech from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from Nigeria, Dr. Akin Adesina

See our pictures from the event.

Sean Solomon, Director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory concludes the seminar. Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akin Adesina, gives a keynote speech framing the main issues for agriculture in Africa. PANEL I – Strategy of the Agriculture and Food Security Center: Pedro Sanchez, Richard Deckelbaum, Ruth DeFries, Cheryl Palm, and Chris Lambe (left to right) PANEL II – Regional Challenges for Sustainable Agriculture:  Walter Baethgen, Christopher Neill, Bocary Kaya, Jagdish K. Ladha, Tom Tomich, and Linda J. Fisher (left to right)
PANEL III – Integrating Agricultural Data: Collect, Analyze, Disseminate:  Dan Bena, Molly Jahn, Vijay Modi, Stanley Wood, and Marc Levy (left to right) SoilDoc: Extension agents can enter data directly into a tablet to get nutrient recommendations for farmers in real time. Here, a member of the SoilDoc team shows how to use the tablet and what types of information are gathered. AgCenter and Modi Research Lab staff demonstrate how SoilDoc works to inauguration guests. Emilie Perge, a postdoctoral research fellow with the AgCenter, in the demonstration of tools and technologies. Klaus Lackner from the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy discusses an exciting new tool on small-scale fertilizer production with Pedro Sanchez and Chris Lambe from the Mosaic Company. Greg Fienhold and Diana Sierra of the Earth Institute with Dan Bena from PepsiCo in the demonstration of tools and technologies. Discussing SoilDoc: Ray Weil, AgCenter and University of Maryland, illustrates this new tool to inauguration guests. How does SoilDoc work? AgCenter and Modi Research Lab staff share the details with John Dyson. Mark Musumba, a post-doctoral research fellow with the AgCenter, presents Vital Signs, an integrated monitoring system for ecosystems services in agricultural landscapes. Gillian Galford, of the AgCenter and University of Vermont, discusses tools for remote sensing with Gary Watmough, a post-doctoral research fellow with the AgCenter. Jeff Sachs, Executive Director of the Earth Institute, helps wrap up the day. Columbia University Provost John Coatsworth opens the day.
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SoilDoc: Extension agents can enter data directly into a tablet to get nutrient recommendations for farmers in real time. Here, a member of the SoilDoc team shows how to use the tablet and what types of information are gathered.