Global conference tackles issues of poverty, hunger and sustainability
The problems of poverty and hunger touch the lives of millions across the world, and without adequate global research in agricultural development these challenges will persist. As we’re confronted by rising populations and climate change, issues of food security and environmental sustainability of farming practices must be addressed if we are to meet the needs of resource-poor farmers and consumers.
These are immense challenges that require forward-thinking research and interventions, and rely on strong, strategic partnerships between organizations with shared goals.
The Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD 2012) held in Punta del Este, Uruguay from 29 October to 1 November is a step forward for global research in agricultural development that will bring together stakeholders from around the world to identify ways to tackle these development issues.
The conference will focus on methods to implement the tasks outlined at the last GCARD in 2010 that are detailed in the GCARD Roadmap. The Roadmap is a strategic action plan that aims to “mobilize the full power of agricultural knowledge and innovation towards meeting agriculture and food related development needs."
With dozens of international research centers, private investors and government representatives from around the world attending the conference, it provides an opportunity to move forward by building cooperation around key forward-thinking agendas.
Children paddling past houses on the way to school, Cambodia. photo by Jamie Oliver, 2008
With more than 400 million people depending on aquatic agricultural systems for their livelihoods, one such agenda is the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS), led by WorldFish. The AAS program targets those communities living in coastal and inland aquatic systems where the Green Revolution’s combination of improved inputs and markets has failed to improve livelihoods.
GCARD 2012 acknowledges that innovation is a key to success in agricultural development. The AAS program has been designed and is being implemented on the basis that the system based CGIAR Research Programs need to be innovative if they are to overcome the weaknesses of previous CGIAR investment in agricultural systems and have sustainable impact at scale. One such innovation is the transformative approach to gender that the AAS Program has integrated in its impact and partnership focused agenda. This gender transformative approach works to understand gender roles and norms and how these present obstacles to improving the lives of the poor in the AAS context.
The strengthening of agricultural research in development is the responsibility of all those who care about the future of agriculture and its role in development. One of GCARD 2012’s greatest contributions to this cause is bringing together potential partners who not only care, but also can make an impact. GCARD 2012 provides opportunity for all sectors and regions to report their activities since 2010 and to agree collective actions and next steps in implementation of the GCARD Roadmap and the CGIAR Strategy & Results Framework.
GCARD 2012 is organized by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), in association with CGIAR, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources.