Four internationally-renowned French research and higher education institutions have signed a deal to develop innovative food security systems.

To that end, they have agreed to strengthen their ties and working relationship with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Priorities of the new collaboration include stepping up efforts to integrate smart-agriculture solutions in developing countries.

FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva said: “Through these complementary partnerships and coordinated synergies, jointly we can advance innovation in agriculture and food systems that are safe, sustainable and inclusive, while addressing unprecedented challenges such as climate change and forced migration, and ultimately contributing to the 2030 Agenda.”

The Agriculture Research Centre for International Development (Cirad), the National Institute for Agriculture Research (INRA), the National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and Agreenium (the French  Agricultural, Veterinary and Forestry Institute), are the four French institutions that will collaborate more closely with the FAO.

“There will be no sustainable agricultural or rural development, no sustainable fisheries or aquaculture without adequate investments in research. The combined action of FAO and IRD will therefore enable developing countries to be at the forefront of new technical and societal routes, new production and consumption patterns adapted to the needs of humanity and the capabilities of our planet,” said Henri Luc Thibault, IRD’s Director of European and International relations.