GCARD2010: Investing for a Better Future

Translating increased awareness and pledges to agriculture into a meaningful boost in investment may depend on building better linkages to farmers, reaching clearer accountability, and making national program more attractive to funding agencies, according to panelists in an afternoon session on investment in agricultural research. The panel was moderated by Dr. Margaret Catley-Carlson, Chair of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Any discussions around investment in agriculture should also include the potential of tapping into the climate change funding pool, argued Dr. Jürgen Voegele, Director, Agriculture and Rural Development Sustainable Development Network, The World Bank. Both mitigation and adaptation agendas are intrinsically linked with funding already available. Getting agriculture ready for climate change is another clear strategic goal for GCARD.

“We cannot simply fund good deeds and expect money to come,” added Dr. Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. “No government or private foundation has a pot of money labeled, ‘us.’ We must fund good strategies backed up by concrete milestones.”

In order to deliver on reducing hunger and poverty goals, the CGIAR must go from a $500 million operation to a billion dollar one, added Dr. Prabhu Pingali, Deputy Director, Agriculture Development Division, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He added that the proposed CGIAR mega-programmes must excite the funding community by putting forward a concrete, credible plan of results-oriented impact.  “I’d like to see the CGIAR rise above immediate concerns about maintaining their own portfolio and focus on 12-13 outputs that will transform AR4D.

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