ITC researcher Robbin Jan van Duijne will spend three months in India to better map regional differences in agricultural problems. The Embassy Science Fellowship (ESF-NL) gives researchers the opportunity to gain work experience in the diplomatic world and to use their knowledge and expertise for Dutch foreign policy in India.
Currently, the agricultural crisis is one of the most pressing issues in India. "This affects hundreds of millions of people's livelihoods and livelihood security; most of them small and marginal farmers," Van Duijne says. According to him, the agricultural sector needs urgent reform to prevent social and economic degradation and further poverty of small farmers.
The agricultural crisis in India is a complex problem. There is no simple one-size-fits-all (technological) solution that can be applied throughout India, because the issues can be completely different per region. One region may experience more extreme climate effects - for example, lack of irrigation facilities during prolonged droughts - while another region may benefit more from financial resources to innovate.
For the Embassy Science Fellowship, Van Duijne will spend three months exploring these region-specific problems in greater depth. During the fellowship, he will deliver a report with policy recommendations, set up a network of experts from different regions, publish his findings and present them during the G20 meeting in India in 2023.
Embassy Science Fellowships (ESF-NL) is part of the Science Diplomacy Fund (SDF) and an initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Strategic Advice Unit) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The programme is designed in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The scientists give an extra boost to science cooperation with third countries and feed the embassies' policies with scientific knowledge.