A group of 5 panelists from Uganda, Brazil, Senegal and Europe presented today, on Day 1 of the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development, their experiences of collaborations between North-South countries and South-South countries (referring to research exchanges between the different hemispheres). But though the examples given were brilliant, the audience left unsatisfied.
The need to address issues like youth inclusion or land access came up, especially through North-South and South-South partnerships and in the GCARD2 context.
The whole session was proposed to share experiences that have helped promote inter-regional learning and capacities through mobilizing and strengthening innovative networks to enhance their impact. While there are numerous examples of north-south collaborative action, agricultural research for development boasts relatively little formal South-South cooperation. Most collaboration in which Southern countries participate is research funded by Northern countries. There is thus ample opportunity for national capacities to be strengthened in Southern countries to promote agricultural research and advancement.
Despite the fact that the platforms showed examples of very successful experiences, a wind of disappointment invaded the Rio de Janeiro’s Room in the Conrad Hotel, where the conference is being held. Crucial questions were asked, the first one coming from one of the GCARD2 Social Reporters: “What about youth inclusion in these kind of platforms?”
The mentioned experiences were quite innovative and were evidence of the key role that youth could play if given the chance. Among the audience we found a young professional participating to one of the presented projects that described her role and experiences. Through this encouraging testimonial we hope that YPARD coordinator Courtney Paisley’s concern will be appeased.
“Knowledge of youth issues is growing,” she says. “I hope they will listen.”
Blogpost by Myriam Pérez Diaz, one of the GCARD2 social reporters.