Around 70 participants attended a session moderated by Dr. Maarten van Ginkel, Deputy Director General of Research at ICARDA, on the agro-ecosystem research area, one of the 8 suggested thematic areas of the CGIAR.
The approach and geographical dimension “dictates the needs by itself and avoids requiring us to dictate the needs,” said Hartmann, Director General of IITA. Several participants highlighted the need for new partners to bring in the social skills and knowledge required to fulfill the agenda.
Group discussions addressed questions aimed at fine-tuning the research area focus, required partnerships, desirable outcomes, and ways to achieve higher women involvement, among others. While many participants expressed enthusiasm for this area of research, some also wondered if the impacts of the mega-programme wouldn’t duplicate efforts of other proposed areas.