GCARD: Two voices, one message

Mark Holderness (L) and Frank Rijsberman (R) talk about GCARD

Professor Monty Jones, Chair of the Global Forum on Agriculture Research (GFAR), recently spoke to Voice of America about his expectations for the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2), a GFAR-organized conference that he is chairing.

We now hear from Mark Holderness, Executive Secretary of the GFAR Secretariat, and Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium, co-sponsor of the event.

More than 600 people will come together in Uruguay to take part in GCARD2, the second such event GFAR is convening, what can they expect?

Mark: GCARD is more than a conference; it is also a process that was set in motion through the first GCARD Conference in Montpellier in 2010. By bringing together perspectives from around the world and from all sectors, we developed a common commitment to reshaping and strengthening systems of agricultural research, extension, education and enterprise, to enable them to play their required roles in ensuring sustainable food and nutritional security and delivering the scale of developmental change required in the lives of the rural poor around the world. This was set out in the form of the GCARD RoadMap, and it is now time to check our progress. During GCARD2, we will see how we can best move from these commitments to actions that impact smallholder lives and livelihoods. To help us do this, the Conference is developed around three main themes of the GCARD Roadmap: improving foresight, strengthening partnership and developing capacities. Nineteen parallel sessions will give participants the space to discuss and commit to action in a range of key areas.

What does CGIAR expect from GCARD2?

Frank: The overall focus and direction of the new CGIAR is described in the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework (SRF), approved by the CGIAR Funders Forum in 2011. The CGIAR Consortium is implementing the SRF through a new portfolio of 16 CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), launched at Rio+20 in June of this year.

We have developed an Action Plan to negotiate and agree more concrete development outcomes for both the SRF and the CRPs, so that CGIAR investors and partners can hold us accountable for our performance, and we can demonstrate the value for money of our work. At GCARD2, we expect to get feedback from our partners and stakeholders on this SRF Action Plan, as well as on the progress we are making to develop the portfolio of CRPs.

Feeding the world without wrecking the planet is still the greatest challenge facing humanity in coming decades, and we want to use GCARD2 to make sure that agricultural research and development are ready to take on that challenge. (Read the full post on CGIAR.org)

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