For the first time since its inception in 1992, the InterDrought Conference was held on the African continent in Dakar, Senegal. As drought continues affecting crop production worldwide, InterDrought landed on African soil to reflect on global drought perspectives for this year's conference series.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet (SMIL) continues to invest in researchers and building human capacity. With that focus, SMIL supported eight attendees from Ethiopia, Niger and Senegal for InterDrought7.
The conference was focused on addressing water access and availability, water use efficiency, and risk management decisions. In fact, the five-day conference featured keynote speakers, breakout sessions and the ability to network with various research instructors from many institutions.
Dr. Zeraye Mehari Haile, SMIL-supported researcher from the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, reflected on his experience attending the conference. He said he was surprised at the number of young African scientists engaging in water stress research.
“Attending the conference provided me the opportunity to discuss various topics with researchers from different parts of the world and get insights on new trends,” Mehari Haile said, adding the importance he feels collaborating on new perspectives and ideas can have on research success.
Combating drought remains a multi-dimensional challenge, and researchers, educators and industry representatives gathered to discuss techniques and risk management decisions.
A SMIL-supported researcher from the Institute National de Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN), Dr. Fanna Maïna, said the opportunity to gather with scientists and stakeholders allowed her the chance to gain knowledge on drought stress in a broader context.
“It’s valuable for me to collaborate with SMIL researchers because they are a group working diligently toward improving crop growth in climate change,” Maïna said. “Ultimately, networking is key, and this conference gave me a sense of scientific methods used in crop improvement production.”
Since 1992 the InterDrought network has created over two decades of symposiums held across the world. Wrapping up the seventh series in Senegal, the network continues addressing concerns, challenges and trends on global drought issues for researchers, policymakers and scientists.
SMIL Supports Eight Researchers to Attend InterDrought VII