For more information or to register, please contact:
Jeff Haskins at +254 729 871 422 (Kenya) or jhaskins[at]burnesscommunications.com.
Denise Young at +33 6 7115 4670 (Paris) or dyoung[at]burnesscommunications.com.
Major Conference Next Week Seeks Sweeping Changes to Global Agriculture
Up to 1,000 World Food Prize Laureates, ministers, farmers, community development organizations, leading scientists, and innovators will gather in Montpellier, France from 28-31 March 2010 for the first ever Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD).
After decades of lagging agricultural investment, GCARD will seek to strengthen and harness the use of agricultural research to meet the enormous challenges of doubling the food supply over the next 40 years, lifting a billion people out of poverty and hunger, and doing so in ways that are environmentally sustainable.
The meeting is part of a massive effort to align priorities of farmers on-the-ground with concrete policies and commitments from donors as a springboard for rapid change and collective action.
The changes to be discussed at GCARD are synergistic with the reforms being carried out by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)—an alliance comprising some 8,000 researchers in 100 countries—to do more and do better, as the CGIAR fulfills its mandate to fight poverty and hunger while conserving the environment.
At the opening of the conference, a team of authors will release a global report providing a holistic, comprehensive view assessment of the myriad actors that currently form the fragmented global agricultural research system for development; the landscape of actors and funders in the agricultural system as it stands today; regional development needs; and a roadmap of guidelines for translating the products of agricultural research into larger and quicker development successes.
At the close of GCARD, participants will outline the research priorities and required actions among all parties that will most effectively contribute to sustainable development and global food security.
“The stakes are very high when you superimpose the security threats and economic migration that could emerge from poverty, hunger, and further deprivation,” said Dr. Adel El-Beltagy, Chair of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR).
Key speakers and participants:
- Fahd Balghunaim, Minister of Agriculture, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Roger Beachy, Director, US National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
- John Beddington, Chief Scientific Advisor, UK Government, and Head of the Government Office for Science
- Joachim von Braun, Director, Center for Development Research (ZEF), and Professor for Economic and Technological Change at University of Bonn, Germany
- Margaret Catley-Carlson, Chair, Global Crop Diversity Trust and Global Water Partnership
- Sir Gordon Conway, Chair in International Development, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London
- Jacques Diouf, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- Gebisa Ejeta, Distinguished Professor of Agronomy, Purdue University, and 2009 World Food Prize Laureate
- Cary Fowler, Executive Director, Global Crop Diversity Trust
- Marion Guillou, CEO, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and Chairman of Agreenium
- Monty Jones, Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and 2004 World Food Prize Laureate
- Jean Lebel, Director, Environment and Natural Resource Management, International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
- Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- Thomas Rosswall, Farming First Spokesperson and Chairman of the CGIAR Challenge Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
- Ismail Serageldin, Director, Library of Alexandria
- M. V. K. Sivakumar, Director, Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch of the Climate and Water Department, World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- M S Swaminathan, Chairman, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)
- Laurence Tubiana, Director, Global Public Goods, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, France
- Ajay Vashee, President, International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP)
“This meeting marks the beginning of a global transformation in agriculture,” said World Food Prize Laureate Dr. Monty Jones, who is leading the team organizing the meeting. “Agriculture has to be able to change at a speed and scale never before contemplated, and many of these reform processes are already underway.”
GCARD meetings, organized through the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), will be held every two years. GCARD will replace the GFAR triennial conference and the annual general meetings of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Agropolis International and the CGIAR are partnering with GFAR to help organize GCARD 2010. For more information, please visit: www.egfar.org/egfar/website/gcard.
The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) was established in 1998 to bring together all those involved in shaping and determining the future of agriculture. GFAR uniquely mobilizes partners from science and society to reform and strengthen research and extension systems around the world, to increase their impact in development. Sectors represented in GFAR include UN Agencies, the CGIAR, national and regional agricultural research and extension systems, development funding agencies and organizations representing farmers, the private sector and civil society.
The CGIAR is a strategic agricultural research alliance dedicated to generating and applying the best available knowledge to stimulate agricultural growth, raise farmers’ incomes, and protect the environment. It supports 15 research centres worldwide conducting groundbreaking work to nourish the future. For more information, please visit www.cgiar.org.