This International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, August 9, is an opportunity to celebrate the ecological and cultural value of indigenous foodways. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared the day to encourage the world to protect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples. Celebrating their cultures means preserving their time-tested farming practices, … More On International Day, Indigenous Peoples Preserve Biodiversity
More than ever before, dieticians, the media, and even supermarket chains looking to attract new customers are praising the merits of alternative diets, free of animal products or “staple” grains, or both. Whether it’s a choice made for better health, a moral or ethical conviction, or a necessity owing to intolerances, everyone seems to be … More Are meat and grains being demonized?
In 2017, several members of Social Lab Guatemala, an incubator for social business, were inspired to build a national model for regenerative agriculture in Guatemala. Their inspiration led them to strategic partnerships with Regeneration International (RI) Main Street Project (MSP) and ultimately to the formation of Regeneration Guatemala. Regeneration Guatemala’s mission is to rebuild the … More Regeneration Guatemala Seeks to Transform Rural Guatemala Agriculture
The first global drylands assessment published in Science magazine in May 2017 estimated that 166 million hectares in Africa’s Great Green Wall area alone are in need of restoration. The upshot is that over 10 million hectares per year should be restored by 2030 to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal 15 on land degradation neutrality. … More Empowering Farmers in the Fight Against Desertification
Prof. Prabhu Pingali of Cornell University talks from the field about the urgent need for a transition from a focus on staple grains to agricultural systems that promote diversity, health and nutrition as well as profitability for smallholder farmers. Find out more about GFAR’s focus on the value and development of ‘Forgotten Foods’ HERE.
The principles of agroecology help us understand the interaction between agriculture and the environment. With agroecological knowledge, scientists, farmers, and researchers can select appropriate technologies and systems to create a sustainable food system. Dr. Esther Kioko, a senior research scientist with the National Museums of Kenya, is using her background in entomology to study the … More A Practical Approach to Agroecology
FAO is organizing an email conference on “The Role of Small Farms Within a Larger Context of Food Security” from 19 March to 9 April 2018. Why? This e-conference is intended to provide further feedback on what has been learned so far from the work in the EU-funded Horizon 2020 research project on “Small Farms, … More Join the FAO e-conference on “The Role of Small Farms Within a Larger Context of Food Security”
Smallholder farmers seldom have a direct voice in shaping policies and understanding of their needs. To celebrate the often unsung work of farming communities, GFAR has commissioned a series of short videos telling the farmers’ stories in their own words. In this second video in the series, farmers in Guatemala relate first-hand their challenges and successes as … More Just released: Farmers’ Right to Seed – Experiences from Guatemala
GFAR Collective Action Design and Launch Workshop Enhancing participatory processes between Family Farmers, Civil Society/Rural Communities, Research Institutes 20 and 21 February 2018 Bilbao, Spain There are more than 500 million family farms in the world. These farms are owned and/or operated by a family and include many of the world’s poor and disadvantaged peoples … More Collective Action on Family Farming that Values All Partners
I got impressed by the virtues of collective actions while reading the GFAR blog post Remembering our collective actions: The unforgettable story of Rinderpest eradication. This infectious disease which was once thought very difficult to control, was nevertheless totally eliminated from the world, thanks to the collective actions. My institution, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, among several … More Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is going to be history, but how?
It is big and involves so many processes and actors. Some would even say it’s scary. I’m talking about the food system, or the movement of food from cultivation of crops to disposal of food scraps. “It’s everything and it’s nothing. But the important thing about the food system as a concept and as a … More Sustainable food systems: What it means for CIAT research
It would be extremely difficult – if not impossible – for an organization like the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) to document all of its impacts since its inception 50 years ago. Nevertheless, impact assessment is a necessary exercise, both in the interest of accountability to donors and other stakeholders, as well as to … More The Challenges of Assessing Collaborative Impact
It was a highly emotional moment for Colombian nationals and others alike when Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos stepped onto the stage to take part in CIAT’s 50th anniversary final celebrations at the organization’s headquarters near Cali, Colombia. Adding to the feeling of excitement was the moment when President Santos pledged the equivalent of approximately … More 5 Ways to Get the Best out of your Organization’s Anniversary
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?
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
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)
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
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
There is no greater blessing than giving birth. When a new life comes into existence, as people we rejoice. In some cultures, especially in Africa, the whole community is so happy they make a feast to celebrate the new life. By the same token it’s such a joy to see the birth of seed enterprises … More Giving Birth to Seed Enterprises
The development community, with some notable exceptions, is waking up to the absurdity of measuring only their inputs and outputs like the number of farmers trained or the number of hectares certified as “farmed sustainably”. In many cases, missing is the measurement that matters most: what positive (or negative) difference did their efforts make for the … More The Shifting State of Sustainability: Can the private sector really deliver a public good?