By MARK HOLDERNESS, GFAR Executive Secretary This article on GFAR’s role was originally published on the G20 Portal on the occasion of the 2017 G20 Summit held 4–5 September 2016 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. We all know that humanity faces huge challenges in achieving sustainable development and that we must act now. Our agri-food systems, and our very … More Shaping the Future of Agriculture and Food Together
The 3rd Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) held in Johannesburg (April 5-8, 2016) saw a wide spectrum of stakeholders engaging in dialogues on the over-arching theme ‘No One Left Behind; Agri–food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World’. Co-hosted by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the CGIAR, and the Agricultural … More Join the GCARD3 Online Regional Consultation for Africa
Spring is the time to work in the field. Farmers are lost in large arable lands from sunrise to sunset with the hope of feeding the population. The #GCARD3 Regional Consultation recently held in Bishkek was an early act of sowing, to give farmers new opportunities to ensure the food security of the region. But … More Hunger knows no bounds
“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” –Kurt Vonnegut Youth is a time when a growing generation starts to dream about the future – it is a time to think … More Reviving the Agricultural Coordination Mechanism
The Central Asia and Caucasus (CAC) region, like many other regions in the world, is facing global transformations, including globalization and localization processes, the development of ICT, changing consumption patterns, ecological decline and resource scarcity, population dynamics, urbanization, and technology development. These drivers of change are interconnected. They will significantly affect the future of agriculture … More Innovation Platforms: Why do we need this?
Having a good idea is very different to making the idea a reality and a success. This is what I thought during my time at the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Central Asia and the Caucasus in Bishkek. How do you turn so many of these great ideas into successful food security and agriculture initiatives for … More Sustainable Transfers of What?
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” -Bernard Baruch There has always been an accepted assumption that in national, regional and international events, the primary focus should be on the speakers and not on those who listen. The thing is, it should be taken into account. … More Behind the scenes: The ones who stay in the shadows
The story of food security is as old as humanity, which some believe started over 10,000 years ago. Since that time, people have worked hard to ensure their food security especially as they availed of solutions thanks to more modern scientific and technology progress as can be seen in recent history. In recent years, many … More Salinity: Live with it or Fight it?
How do you usually picture Central Asia? Not at all, would be the answer in many cases. In my case the answer is: I picture it as a jigsaw… and it is my job to put the pieces together. I first arrived in Central Asia in 2014 to start a job as a consultant for … More Puzzled in Central Asia
When you think of a farmer, what image comes to your mind? Many would say: a middle aged or even elderly man. His face weathered by the sun, and his hands worn out from heavy labor. Well, I would have probably fallen into the trap of that classical image, as well… Until I met Nodar … More Meet Nodar, not your ‘Typical’ Farmer
“I am not a cow!”, – I was proudly informed by one of my Kyrgyz colleagues several year ago, refusing the offered salad. “Neither am I,” – I answered, chewing on. Traditional Kyrgyz cuisine consists, almost exclusively, of bread, milk, and meat – boiled and fried in different combinations. Kyrgyz people proudly claim that they … More A spoonful of gold, anyone?
“70% of young people in Tajikistan are choosing to enter the legal profession, or want to become doctors, economists, bankers or programmers… And who will feed our people?”- said Dr. Amonullo Salimov, the rector of Shirinsho Shotemur, the Tajik Agrarian University. During the coffee break at the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Central Asia and the … More And who will feed us?
It was indeed a question during the second day of the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Central Asia and the Caucasus. During the plenary discussion that focused on food security and nutrition issues in agriculture, Nurbek Omuraliev, who is a representative of Kyrgyzistan’s Academy of Science, asked presenters how best bean crops could be included into … More Kyrgyz Haricot: To bean or not to bean?
– Me: Is there any future for organic food businesses in Kyrgyzstan? – Dr. Igor Hadjamberdiev: It is the only future. My journey towards organic food production started with an FAO project I worked on last year. The goal of the project was to research the problems of using pesticides. A big part of the … More Organic or panic?
There are rare moments, at any conference, when a speaker makes a statement, and you feel everyone in the room holding their breath. It’s like you feel the tension in the room raising… This was one of those moments… “Small is no longer beautiful” said Dr. Shenggen Fan from the International Food Policy and Research … More Is Small still Beautiful?
“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.” ― Coco Chanel While we are all sitting in one room, in Bishkek, at the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Central Asia and the Caucasus, social media is giving us wings. I am one of the twenty-four social reporters at the Consultation. Most … More Agriculture with wings
Evidence-based decision-making seems to be the only logical option. However, I was surprised to learn that this is apparently quite a new trend. What Works Network was organized by the UK Government in June 2013 and “is a world first: it’s the first time any government has taken a national approach to prioritizing the use … More Work it, data!
We do not believe in the existence of magic, especially not the kind of magic that can change our lives and solve our problems. Even if we could have a magical stick helping us, we would still have to define our problems and the changes we want. We do that by analyzing the situation and … More Do we really need a Magic Stick?
This is the story of a surprising plant and its journey from the mountains of South America to the steppes of Central Asia. It is a journey driven by a mission: to provide healthy food for dry and saline areas. It is the journey of the Quinoa from the Goosefeet (Chenopodiaceae) Plant Family. It is … More The Journey of the Goosefeet
There I was, a young agriculturalist, amongst two hundred senior specialists. I had a question, raised my hand, and took the microphone. For a moment I thought: “Nizami, what are you doing?” But my curiosity got the better of me. Even though my hands were sweating and my voice was trembling. So, what was the … More And then I asked a question…