In 2009, a global consultation process involving over 2,000 stakeholders from 200 countries around the world was launched to “check the pulse” of the global agricultural research system and map out regional AR4D priorities in order to ensure a more cohesive global research agenda. The outcomes of these consultations were captured in a series of regional summaries presented to participants at GCARD on Monday.
As expected, each region had different priorities and goals for the future of AR4D. For example, water issues and desertification were front and center for both Central Asia & the Caucasus (CACAARI) and West Asia & North Africa (AARINENA), while the Latin America/Caribbean (FORAGRO) emphasized focus on family agriculture and the need to involve more indigenous and small farmers. The regional consultation from Europe ( EFARD) remarked on the need for greater AR4D to address poverty in Eastern Europe.
However, several overlapping themes and priorities were echoed throughout the morning, perhaps most notably the disconnect between international priorities and national strategies, in addition to the impacts of climate change and the need for rapid development of adaptation and mitigation technologies. Other common challenges included increasing population growth, water scarcity, disconnect between researchers and extension, and the gender divide. Also stressed by several presenters was the need for renewed and/or ramped up presence of the CGIAR in the regions.
Cross-cutting solutions across regions included the need to scale “up and out” new technologies, work with new partners, and increased capacity on innovation.
Dr. Ann Tutwiler, Senior Advisor on Food Security at USDA emphasized that in order to provide solutions to the myriad of challenges facing developing countries AR4D, national governments must have the political will to build their own enabling environments.