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  • Agriculture: A priority for sustainable development in the Americas

Making Agriculture Research & Innovation more Impactful

Making Agriculture Research & Innovation more Impactful

The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) recently had representatives from each geo-political region deliberating strategies for working together to address challenges facing global agriculture, against the backdrop of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Ottawa, ON. PROCINORTE and FORAGRO were among the 34 regional and thematic networks invited to review and discuss modalities for the Forum’s Strategic Plan 2018 – 2021.  

GFAR Steering Committee held on February 8-9, 2017 
Photo credits: The Voices of GFAR: Messages from the new Steering Committee

It was acknowledged that there were bottlenecks affecting the potential impact that agricultural research and innovation could have in the world.  For addressing these, delegates agreed that collective action was required in the following priority areas:

  • Enable and empower sustainable rural communities
  • Increasing knowledge flow for development impact
  • Supporting transformative learning and youth leadership development
  • Changing value systems and metrics to deliver the SDGs
  • Enabling sustainable rural enterprise

The renewed GFAR stressed the importance of a consultative process, with the farmer as the central player in the achievement of the agreed goals.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to explore the position of the Americas in the global response, IICA cohosted (with the GFAR Secretariat) a joint workshop on: Enabling Innovation for Sustainable Agri-Food Development in the Americas within a Global Context.  Director General Dr. Villalobos set the stage by sharing features of agricultural research, development and innovation in the Americas.   These, coupled with the region’s natural resources, pointed to its likely invaluable contribution to the proposed agenda for addressing selected SDGs.  Additionally, IICA as an inter-American body with common thematic interests, was presented as a suitable partner in addressing at least 2 of the priority areas identified by GFAR.  Opportunities for internships, exchanges and scholarships were of particular interest as participants underscored the importance of youth engagement and relevant academic curricula.   

The Global Forum on Agricultural Research is a global platform comprising organisations working across the world in scientific research, education, rural extension and advisory services; business and enterprise; international development agencies; and farmers’ and civil society organisations. www.gfar.net

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