Feedback from participants at the GFAR Constituent Assembly

Our social reporter Elicah Barasa talking to Dr. Masum Mubarak

With a resounding applause, the three days GFAR Constituent Assembly has come to a close. The three days were marked by sharing of experiences, deliberations, making of resolutions to reshape the future of GFAR. And all this was shared with the outside world via the World Wide Web.

As the more than 100 participants travel back to their homes, what is it that they gained from the Assembly? Were their expectations met? In this blog, I share with you excerpts from representative interviews with participants.

To a question on how Mr Mario Ahumada felt about the outcomes of the conference, ‘I am optimistic about the outcomes of this conference. The governance structure we have proposed for GFAR is quite representative and inclusive of all the key stakeholders. I believe it will effectively steer GFAR to the next level’

Another participant, Dr. Masum Mubarak, the Director General of agricultural research in the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture, says he has been doing research for the past 25 years and deals with 49 research organizations within Turkey. He notes that back home research is carried out in an integrated approach involving the public, private and university sectors. With this experience, he understands well that research is a key driver behind change and as such, knowing what GFAR stands for gives him confidence.

Coming to the meeting he expected, and was pleased with the multi-stakeholder nature of the Assembly where both young and older, men and women from across the globe were gathered to discuss and make decisions on the future of agri-food research and innovation. He also enjoyed the chance to share his experiences and expertise as well as learning from other participants.

Knowing that some resolutions were going to be made about GFAR, he was asked if his expectations were met. He affirmed this and expressed his satisfaction with the decision on inclusivity and the futuristic governance structure that was resolved during the Assembly deliberations. He looks forward to GFAR partners working together to implement the promise of a renewed GFAR.

In conclusion, Dr. Mubarak says he’s upbeat about the forthcoming Partners Assembly in the first quarter of 2016 where the resolutions coming out of the Constituent Assembly will be further discussed and adopted.

One of the participants to the Assembly, Mr. Paddy Browne from TEAGASC in Ireland was glad that the meeting gave him the opportunity to better understand what GFAR is all about. With this new understanding, he calls for a strong advocacy at national level to increase awareness and support the Global Forum’s agenda. He is a strong believer in Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) and greater cooperation across the globe for successful attainment of food security. He feels that his participation in the GFAR Constituent Assembly couldn’t have come at a better moment and very much enjoyed being part of the reframing of GFAR’s future. He also hailed the decision to establish the Partners Assembly in the new GFAR governance structure.

With the Assembly now closed, the attention now shifts to the forthcoming Partners Assembly that will be held in conjunction with the GCARD3 global event. The testimonies of participants are a clear indication that the Assembly met expectations. It was a success in every aspect and hopefully it set the right pace towards reframing GFAR governance.

Blogpost and photo by our social reporter Elicah Barasa (YPARD)

This is a live blog, reporting from the GFAR Constituent Assembly

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