Join the FAO e-conference on “The Role of Small Farms Within a Larger Context of Food Security”

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”

Shifting Down to the Human Scale: Lessons from the Territories approach

“Territories are spaces of coordination between actors in which new forms of governance are conceived that are conducive to development and to the strengthening of solidarity.” –from Living Territories to Transform the World, Editions Quae, 2017 The Living Territories International Conference held in Montpellier, France from 22-24 January 2018 was a multi-partner event addressing a … More Shifting Down to the Human Scale: Lessons from the Territories approach

Commemoration of International Women’s Day amidst unprecedented global movement for women’s rights

Coming on the heels of unprecedented global efforts for women’s rights, equality and justice, International Women’s Day, 8 March, will put a spotlight on the tireless work of activists who have been central to these extraordinary movements worldwide. Under this year’s theme, “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”, events around the … More Commemoration of International Women’s Day amidst unprecedented global movement for women’s rights

Together is Better – Designing a Collective Action to make research participatory and accountable

What is participatory research? Who actually participates in what, and how? Is it only happening in individual countries, in certain projects? If so, how can it be scaled up? What kind of change is needed to make research processes participatory? Is it about attitudes, governance structures, policies, funding channels? What kind of partners and partnerships … More Together is Better – Designing a Collective Action to make research participatory and accountable

Four Ways to Incorporate a Gender Lens in Your Measurement and Evaluation Efforts

Across the social sector, we have seen growing interest in bringing a gender lens to social change—from foundations and nonprofits aligning to the Sustainable Development Goals to businesses looking to create shared value. As organizations deepen their gender-related programming and companies invest in gender equity, there is one question that is inevitably raised: how do … More Four Ways to Incorporate a Gender Lens in Your Measurement and Evaluation Efforts

Will Brazilian Millennials Look to a Future in the Fields?

The rural workforce in Brazil is getting younger, according to recent research. Meet the Gen-Y agripreneurs changing the face of farming in Brazil. By Raphael Marques da Silva, on behalf of HarvestPlus. The economic crisis in Brazil has chosen millennials–the most apt generation for building the future of the country–as its main victim. According to a … More Will Brazilian Millennials Look to a Future in the Fields?

Multi-functional Landscapes: What is the right approach?

Eric Patrick, adaptation specialist at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), presented a new innovative pilot programme in a TED-like ‘Landscape Talk’ at the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn in December.  Patrick began with an analysis of three past water-harvesting projects that seemed to have failed. Fences to manage grazing were removed. Many of … More Multi-functional Landscapes: What is the right approach?

How gene banks can contribute to a healthier future

Chronic or non-communicable diseases are the leading causes of mortality around the globe. Take a look at these staggering figures from the World Health Organization: Of the 56 million deaths in 2015, 40 million or 70 percent were caused by heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. Most of those illnesses can be prevented. … More How gene banks can contribute to a healthier future

Sustainable food systems: What it means for CIAT research

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

Genome editing: A revolutionary tool to speed up plant breeding

Innovation has always been part of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture’s (CIAT) DNA. Since its birth in 1967, CIAT has utilized novel tools to breed and improve some of the most important crops in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Genome editing is one such tool. It uses CRISPR-Cas, a revolutionary technology that can “cut” … More Genome editing: A revolutionary tool to speed up plant breeding

The Challenges of Assessing Collaborative Impact

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

5 Ways to Get the Best out of your Organization’s Anniversary

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

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)

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