“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… Continue reading Shifting Down to the Human Scale: Lessons from the Territories approach
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… Continue reading Commemoration of International Women’s Day amidst unprecedented global movement for women’s rights
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… Continue reading Together is Better – Designing a Collective Action to make research participatory and accountable
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… Continue reading Four Ways to Incorporate a Gender Lens in Your Measurement and Evaluation Efforts
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… Continue reading Will Brazilian Millennials Look to a Future in the Fields?
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… Continue reading Multi-functional Landscapes: What is the right approach?
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.… Continue reading How gene banks can contribute to a healthier future
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… Continue reading Sustainable food systems: What it means for CIAT research
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”… Continue reading Genome editing: A revolutionary tool to speed up plant breeding
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… Continue reading 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… Continue reading 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… Continue reading 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… Continue reading 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… Continue reading Conversations in transformation (why it’s good to talk to people on your way to work)
Millions of people are migrating from rural to urban areas worldwide. They are looking for a better life and job opportunities that will lead them to prosperity and success. Sounds familiar? Yes, the so called “American dream”. Today, with all these big flows of people from rural to urban areas, the cities are not often… Continue reading In Pursuit of the African dream
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… Continue reading Growing peace
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 -… Continue reading When local knowledge brings innovation: A cattle farmer with a different approach
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… Continue reading Being farmer, becoming agripreneur: Imitation is the highest flattery
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… Continue reading Coffee in crisis offers a lesson in resilience
Indigenous communities have traditionally passed information from one generation to another. Valuable information products of hundreds years of experience and observation of the environment that surrounds them. Information related to specific processes in agriculture, to the management of natural resources, and how to better adapt to climate change. This knowledge exchange has been a way… Continue reading Forever young