Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Second day of the Global conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD)

Day 2 started with a video address by David Nabarro, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Food Security and Nutrition.

Dr. Monty Jones, Incoming Chair of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research, and Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa set the scene for the day by emphasizing the responsibility of participants to represent the needs of the hundreds of millions of resource poor farmers, livestock keepers, fish producers and forest dwellers who are not at the meeting.

Monty Jones outlined reasons why research has failed to achieve adequate impact to date in order to urge participants to enact change. These included: under investment in research and capacity; fragmentation of the players in AR4D; research not being adequately linked to other sectors that would leverage better impact, such as markets and infrastructure; a lack of accountability of researchers to the end users; and underexploited opportunities for collaboration (North-South and South-South).

His hopes for outcomes of GCARD were to establish GCARD an inclusive platform; validation of the CGIAR’s priority research areas; learning and networking; and development of a road map for reorienting agriculture research to better meet the needs of the poor. “The first GCARD is being held at a time when developing- country agriculture is commanding the highest attention in over four decades. This attention is certain to wane in the coming years. We therefore must make hay while the sun shines,” he concluded.

“Africa has transformed from self sufficiency in food 50 years ago to food deficit (16.5 billion in 07)“,
Denis Kyetere, Chair FARA

In the afternoon a panel was held on how to be an active player in collective action?
During this debate Paco Sereme (Executif Director of CORAF/WECARD) indicated that it is important to align future initiatives and partnerships to the ongoing CAADP process. Anne Marie Sorensen of EFARD refered to the example and model of FARA for how to enlarge traditional researchers'networks to other stakeholders and partnerships (farmers, private companies, extension services).
Dr. Ahmed Al-Bakri, AARINENA

Reference: GCARD blog

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