Towards Food and Nutrition Security: Where is IITA going in the next half century?

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The anniversary was celebrated to reflect two milestones: the first 50 years, covering the period from its inception up till now; and the next 50 years, covering the present to the next 50 years. The first core event, held on … More Towards Food and Nutrition Security: Where is IITA going in the next half century?

IITA: Transforming African Agriculture

Agriculture is central to the development of the African continent, currently contributing 40% to 80% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in several countries. In recent years, it has been put back on to the development agenda of most African governments. In Nigeria, for instance, the agricultural policy document of the current government builds on … More IITA: Transforming African Agriculture

Conversations in transformation (why it’s good to talk to people on your way to work)

A popular story goes that the idea of establishing agricultural research centers, precursors of the modern-day CGIAR network, was born out of the daily train conversations between two gentlemen on their way to work In New York City in the early-1960s. The story, told by the late Lowell Hardin, former professor at the Purdue University … More Conversations in transformation (why it’s good to talk to people on your way to work)

GFAR champions farmers’ rights to seed and genetic resources in new video

Over the last four years, GFAR has played a leading role in mobilizing awareness and learning about farmers rights, to help farmers continue to benefit from the crop varieties and traits they have developed over generations, both in their own use and when used for further breeding. In partnership with the International Treaty on Plant … More GFAR champions farmers’ rights to seed and genetic resources in new video

Webinar Wrap-Up: Effective Tools for Understanding, Managing and Accelerating Impact

In a recent GFAR webinar, the Committee on Sustainability Assessment’s (COSA) teamed up with GFAR and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) to “Brace for Impact”: together they examined the question of how to design effective measurement tools for the understanding, management and acceleration of development impacts. The webinar was a Collective Action supported by GFAR … More Webinar Wrap-Up: Effective Tools for Understanding, Managing and Accelerating Impact

Realising the potential of Africa’s hidden talent

Much of agriculture in Africa is in the hands of poor, scattered populations served by inadequate infrastructure for agricultural research, outreach and training. The national institutions serving agriculture often lack the capacity to undertake research and technology transfer on a meaningful scale. In addition, much work undertaken in Africa is lost as a rapid turnover … More Realising the potential of Africa’s hidden talent

On vocational approach in university education: Is it the way to go?

The loyal non-critical civil servants that the university was set up to provide to the colonial administration and subsequently to the new independent state is no longer in demand. So, the design of higher education in Africa is increasingly out of sync with the labor market demands. Is it high time that universities considered a … More On vocational approach in university education: Is it the way to go?

Investing in Africa’s young population to drive the Continent’s Agenda

According to the United Nations report, by 2050, there will be an increase of 1.3 billion in Africa’s population. Africa’s growth is expected to move from 1 to 4 billion people. Forty-five percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is below the age of fifteen, yet over the next two decades, 330 million young Africans will be entering the job … More Investing in Africa’s young population to drive the Continent’s Agenda

Webinar: Innovating those dreaded “Annual Reports”

And before we know it, we’re almost at the end of yet another year… While most people are looking forward for a season filled with jingle bells, carols, presents and new year’s fireworks, many professional communicators have a different perspective: the end of the year marks the start of yet another dreaded process of preparing … More Webinar: Innovating those dreaded “Annual Reports”

Remembering our collective actions: The unforgettable story of Rinderpest eradication

It was an historical moment the world over, when Rinderpest—the dreaded animal disease also known as Cattle plague—was finally eradicated in 2011. This is a remarkable success story, being the first animal disease eradicated in human history and the second among all diseases inflicting humans and livestock, after smallpox. The 10,000-yr-old rinderpest virus (RPV) had … More Remembering our collective actions: The unforgettable story of Rinderpest eradication

A peep behind the curtains: How to set up and run a webinar?

You’d have to be a bit crazy to publicly share your professional “secrets to success”. I mean,… Why share all of the stuff, which gives you and your organisation the competitive advantage over the next organisation? You’d have to be crazy. Well, in the next webinar, we will… We will go a bit crazy. We’ve … More A peep behind the curtains: How to set up and run a webinar?

Because we care: How Partners in GFAR are transforming agricultural learning

Because we, the Partners in GFAR, care about the future of our youth and the future of agriculture, education is one of our most important agendas. Many young people in Sub-Saharan Africa leave school without being able to properly read and write, with their work prospects handicapped for life. An enormous number of young people … More Because we care: How Partners in GFAR are transforming agricultural learning

Growing peace

A South Sudanese woman paints a heart wrenching picture of her country. It is struggling to feed itself. Resources are stretched to breaking point. The on-going conflict makes water hard to come by and climate change is only making things worse. “When the drought came, we lost everything”, she says. “We depend on imported food … More Growing peace

When local knowledge brings innovation: A cattle farmer with a different approach

A few days back I visited Manali, a famous tourist destination in northern India. Unlike most of the visitors, my trip was not for fun but research survey work. During one of the conversations with my colleagues, I heard about a farmer named Peter, who is based in Manali. As the name sounded unfamiliar – … More When local knowledge brings innovation: A cattle farmer with a different approach

Being farmer, becoming agripreneur: Imitation is the highest flattery

On October 11, 2017, I attended a side event organized by the World Farmers’ Organization and the governments of New Zealand and Canada at the 44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). This side event focused on the role of farmers as stewards of environment, in adapting to climate change and attaining … More Being farmer, becoming agripreneur: Imitation is the highest flattery

SMART Indicators for Smarter Decision Making

When setting up a sustainability assessment system, no step is more critical for success than defining good indicators to measure. The COSA library of indicators for smallholder agricultural sustainability is crafted with the following best practices in mind to ensure our sustainability measurement framework is practical, globally consistent, accurate, and useful throughout the supply chain. … More SMART Indicators for Smarter Decision Making

Coffee in crisis offers a lesson in resilience

In the last five years, Coffee leaf rust, or “la roya” in Spanish, has crippled Guatemala and Central America. During the last outbreak, the Committee On Sustainability Assessment (COSA), a Partner in GFAR, was in the Verapaz and Oriente regions of Guatemala for an evaluation of a project aiming to improve the sustainability of Guatemalan … More Coffee in crisis offers a lesson in resilience