A Conversation with the Chair and Vice-Chair

At their meeting in June 2017, the GFAR Steering Committee appointed Ms. Bongiwe N. Njobe from South Africa as Chair of GFAR. She is joined by Mr. Raffaele Maria Maiorano from Italy as Vice-Chair.  At the start of their term, we took the opportunity to ask the new Chair and Vice-Chair their thoughts about GFAR’s work and … More A Conversation with the Chair and Vice-Chair

Rural poor people in Madagascar strengthen resilience through land tenure

In western Madagascar, IFAD-supported projects have been helping people in rural areas gain legal rights to their land – a key tactic in the fight against poverty. When smallholder farmers own their land, they can use it as collateral to access credit. Land ownership also gives them more incentives to invest in better farming techniques … More Rural poor people in Madagascar strengthen resilience through land tenure

Boosting nutrition one TV show at a time in Laos

In rural communities in northern Laos, an IFAD supported programme is using a television soap opera to help tackle extreme poverty and malnutrition. As villagers follow the fortunes of their favourite characters in My Happy Family, they are also learning how to choose healthy locally grown ingredients to create tasty, nutritious meals for the children … More Boosting nutrition one TV show at a time in Laos

Reducing rice imports helps smallholder farmers in Nigeria

An IFAD-supported programme in Nigeria is helping to reduce dependence on imported rice and strengthening the access of smallholder farmers to local markets. Every year, Africa spends some US$35 billion on food imports, undermining the sustainability of its own agriculture sector. This overreliance on food imports is partly due to the inferior quality of much … More Reducing rice imports helps smallholder farmers in Nigeria

Native fruits fuel rural development in Brazil

Wild and local fruits, such as umbu (Spondias tuberosa), passionfruit and guava, are fuelling the growth of a prosperous cooperative led by women in a remote area of north-eastern Brazil. More than a decade ago, family farmers in the heart of the semi-arid Sertão region came together to set up the Family Agribusiness Cooperative in … More Native fruits fuel rural development in Brazil

What do forests have to do with food security? A glance at this year’s HLPE Report

Forests are not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about food security. Sure, it’s fun to go mushroom picking, but otherwise what is the big deal about the role of forests in food security? Why is this year’s High Level Panel of Experts Report (HLPE), the science-policy interface of the UN … More What do forests have to do with food security? A glance at this year’s HLPE Report

Growing money on trees in Africa, a conversation with Björn Lundgren

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlight 17 important issues that humanity needs to address in order to improve the lives of millions. Trees have a role to play in many development issues, and are closely linked to the SDG #15 “Life on land”. Apart from being a major mechanism for climate mitigation, forestry is … More Growing money on trees in Africa, a conversation with Björn Lundgren

Designing the Future of GFAR: Common Values and Commitment Required

What better way to show the commitment of a group of individuals to a cause than to tell their story with their own pictures and words? Let’s start at the beginning… “On a sunny Tuesday morning in June, we (members of the GFAR Steering Committee) gathered on an agricultural cooperative on the outskirts of Rome. … More Designing the Future of GFAR: Common Values and Commitment Required

Are women better at taking care of forests than men?

Research suggests that the way people use and manage forests is largely shaped by gender norms and relations. But how exactly? Linley Chiwona-Karltun, researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, and Ngolia Kimanzu, advisor at Salvation Army, share insights from their ongoing research about the role of gender in the use of forest … More Are women better at taking care of forests than men?

In a bind: How policy divide between forestry and farming can result in poverty and hunger

For generations, upland communities of Vietnam, Thailand and Nepal relied on fruits, nuts, mushrooms and berries gathered in forests when harvests were low, and let their fields lie fallow, allowing soil to rebound. However, with agricultural development and forest management evolving as discrete policy areas, these communities were denied access to forests in the interests … More In a bind: How policy divide between forestry and farming can result in poverty and hunger

Where did the time go?

Hectic yet reflective! The pilot GFAR-YPARD Young Agripreneur Project (YAP) is coming to an end and in these posts, the six young agripreneurs are pondering on their professional and personal journeys over the past twelve months. In April 2016, they all gathered in Johannesburg, where they thrilled the audiences at GCARD3 with their enthusiasm, drive and energy in … More Where did the time go?

Webinar Wrap-up: Farmers’ Rights: Achieving Complementarity between the Informal and Formal Seed Systems

Smallholder farmers are at the heart of the informal seed system as both custodians and innovators of important crop genetic diversity. Their rights have been recognized globally, through the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, as a counter balance to the rights of commercial breeders in the formal seed system. However … More Webinar Wrap-up: Farmers’ Rights: Achieving Complementarity between the Informal and Formal Seed Systems

The Year of the YAP: A Tale of Genius, Power and Magic

Hectic yet reflective! The pilot GFAR-YPARD Young Agripreneur Project is coming to an end and in these posts, the six young agri-preneurs are pondering on their professional and personal journeys over the past twelve months. In April 2016, they all gathered in Johannesburg, where they thrilled the audiences at GCARD3 with their enthusiasm, drive and energy in describing … More The Year of the YAP: A Tale of Genius, Power and Magic

Turning key objectives into reality with YAP!

Hectic yet reflective! The pilot GFAR-YPARD Young Agripreneur Project is coming to an end and in these posts, the six young agri-preneurs are pondering on their professional and personal journeys over the past twelve months. In April 2016, they all gathered in Johannesburg, where they thrilled the audiences at GCARD3 with their enthusiasm, drive and energy in describing … More Turning key objectives into reality with YAP!

Communications in agriculture, as a means. Not a goal.

Confusion of goals and perfection of means, seems, in my opinion, to characterize our age. Albert Einstein Will you forgive me, if I step onto my preaching soapbox for a moment? But this is a topic very dear to my heart. People often ask me for the latest trends in communications, where they refer to … More Communications in agriculture, as a means. Not a goal.

GFAR Webinar: Beyond decision making: Foresight as a process for improving attitude towards change

GFAR is pleased to invite you to the webinar: Beyond decision making: Foresight as a process for improving attitudes towards change Date: 27 June 2017 Time: 14:00 Rome time Duration: 2 hours max Registration open As part of its series of webinars, GFAR Secretariat is bringing together foresight practitioners and others interested in foresight for … More GFAR Webinar: Beyond decision making: Foresight as a process for improving attitude towards change

Youth Agripreneurs Project: Sowing the seed for a brighter future

Hectic yet reflective! The pilot GFAR-YPARD Young Agripreneur Project is coming to an end and in these posts, the six young agri-preneurs are pondering on their professional and personal journeys over the past twelve months. In April 2016, they all gathered in Johannesburg, where they thrilled the audiences at GCARD3 with their enthusiasm, drive and energy in describing … More Youth Agripreneurs Project: Sowing the seed for a brighter future

Youth agribusiness in Africa: not just about knowledge, but action

A week ago, I was fortunate to speak at the latest Brussels Rural Development Briefings (Briefing number 49)* that took place at the ACP secretariat in Brussels, Belgium. The briefing focused on “Youth in Agribusiness: shaping the future of agriculture”. One of the key takeaways I took from the conference was that we cannot force … More Youth agribusiness in Africa: not just about knowledge, but action