Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

WEBINAR: A New Paradigm for Research and Innovation: A practical application with Forgotten Foods Based on the Global Manifesto on Forgotten Foods

6 July 2021
. WEBINAR: A New Paradigm for Research and Innovation: A practical application with Forgotten Foods Based on the Global Manifesto on Forgotten Foods.

On the sidelines of FAO's Science Days, GFAR hosted a UNFSS Dialogue to discuss the ongoing national consultations for a Global Manifesto on Forgotten Foods.

Partners in GFAR are keenly aware that current trends towards transforming research and innovation need to be more inclusive of local and indigenous knowledge systems. This discussion will focus on the paradigm shift required towards democratizing research and innovation to produce transformative knowledge for agroecology, food sovereignty and biocultural diversity.

Concerned Partners in GFAR aim to highlight the depth of farmers' expertise in cultivating traditional crops—so called ‘forgotten foods’—as sources of a nutritious and stable food supply. Despite acting as custodians of this rich biodiversity for centuries and agricultural researchers in their own right, smallholder farmers and indigenous people have been left behind by formal agricultural research.

A new approach is needed to not only to put forgotten foods on-the-radar of research but also to fully unleash their potential. By marrying farmer-based insight with formal research, the way can be paved for a new paradigm built on co-research and co-innovation, rooted in the principles of fruitful exchanges between equally valid knowledge systems.

In the context of GFAR’s Collective Action on Forgotten Foods, rural communities in Africa and Asia have been consulted, together with a range of other stakeholders, to develop a Global Manifesto on Forgotten Foods. Recently completed continent-wide consultations promoted by GFAR in Africa (through FARA), Near East and North Africa (through AARINENA), and in Asia-Pacific (through APAARI), have confirmed a strong interest to engage research and innovation systems to reinvigorate these crops by identifying—with farmers themselves—the best solutions in seed selection, conservation and multiplication, value addition, marketing and culinary applications.

The Global Manifesto defines new avenues for supporting effectively and using appropriately traditional and indigenous peoples’ knowledge, facilitating smallholders’ co-innovation processes’ access and benefit sharing. The Manifesto will be transformed by a Community of Practices emerging from the consultations into a Global Plan of Action from which selected initiatives will be submitted to donors as investment opportunities.

IntroductionHildegard Lingnau, GFAR Executive Secretary                                          
Part 1: Key issues stemming from the ManifestoRavi Khetarpal (APAARI),
Yemi Akinbamijo (FARA),
Ali Al-Lawati (AARINENA)
Part 2: Farmers’ perspectivesIrish Baguilat (AFA)
Part 3: Main implications/challenges for transforming agricultural research and innovation systemsCarlo Fadda/Ronnie Vernooy (Bioversity-CIAT),
Alessandro Meschinelli (GFAR)
Part 4: Open DebatesAll
Part 5: Wrap-up/conclusionsAlessandro Meschinelli (GFAR)

Related: Hildegard Lingnau, New GFAR Executive Secretary

GFAR press release: The Secretariat of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR) announced that its leadership structure is now complete, with the onboarding of Prof. Dr. Hildegard Lingnau as Executive Secretary on July 1st.

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