The RIU Asia Challenge Fund originally comprised 13 projects spread over Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal and Vietnam. After review in late 2009, two projects were closed when they were found not to be fit for the purpose of learning about putting research into use at scale. The remaining projects have been reorganized to provide a coherent set of experiments on putting research into use, within three themes. RIU has ensured that these projects have the critical mass to have significant impact whilst delivering lessons on how to better put research into use. RIU's involvement with the four theme programmes will run to the end of June 2011.
RIU's work in South Asia builds on the RNRRS legacy; central to this is a database of research projects undertaken, of which there are 115 database entries for Asia.
TS Vamsidhar Reddy, the Research Fellow for the Asia Programme, has published a discussion paper on Exploring opportunity-led innovation in horticulture value chain development efforts.
The Green Revolution
that started in the late 1960s raised agricultural productivity dramatically in irrigated areas, leading to greatly improved levels of food security in many countries.
The number of people living below the poverty line fell from 1.15 billion in 1975 to 825 million in 1995, despite a 60% increase in population.
Critics charge that the Green Revolution caused widespread environmental degradation and worsened absolute poverty. In India
, for example, there has been little improvement in levels of poverty in many low-potential rainfed areas.