It was beyond my wildest dreams: being part of the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) Partner Assembly and delivering a keynote speech at the Third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3). The experience at GCARD3 was more surreal than I thought it would be. There were approximately 512 passionate and brilliant delegates at the … More Make Your Move
I am sitting at one of the round table discussions at the Third Global Conference on Agricultural Research and Development (GCARD3). Across from me is a middle-aged gentlemen, vibrant and bold. He’s wearing a golf tee-shirt branded ‘African Biosciences‘. He says that, as a young Masters student in the 1990s, he tried to secure a … More Stepping out of your comfort zone
My first official tweet #myfirstTweet #omg — EclecticGeneticist (@EclGen) April 3, 2016 A geneticist’s personal experience of the world of social media at GCARD3 I am a geneticist by trade; my ‘safe place’ is in the laboratory where all things are clean and within white, well-defined boxes. My ‘un-safe’ place would constitute a series of … More A gene-jockey tweets her way through GCARD3
I remember the morning I was leaving my home, my child, my dairy farm in our village in India to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa to attend the GCARD3 event. Though I was excited to attend this global event on agriculture–it is my passion to which I have been completely dedicated for the last five … More YAP: A Home away from Home
En tant que membres des jeunes professionnels pour le développement agricole: “YPARD” en sigle, nous avons été invité à prendre part à la GCARD3 en Afrique du Sud, plus précisément à Johannesburg, et nous avons été formé aux médias sociaux afin de faire office de reporters sociaux lors des événements mondiaux. Les participants étaient issus … More Agriculture: Source d’emploi durable pour les jeunes
It is 6:30 am. Johannesburg’s high-rise buildings stand far in the background, amidst the greenery, beautifully framed by the early African sun. This is the first sunrise I could enjoy in the last week at the Third Global Conference of Agricultural Research and Development (GCARD3). It has been a very busy week, working 16-hour days every day. I … More Want to reinvent agriculture? Involve youth!
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 societies, are threatened by unsustainable consumption habits and production practices, by our failure to provide a viable and sustainable living for young people in rural communities and by the looming spectre … More GCARD3: An Agenda for Action
A range of agricultural issues was robustly debated at the recent Global Event of the Third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) in South Africa. What made the event exceptional was the way it engaged local farmers while also facilitating the research priorities of national governments, in line with their production objectives. GCARD3 brought together stakeholders involved … More GCARD3: Advancing a practical approach to agricultural research
Pauline Jeff is a 47 year-old vegetable farmer who owns an acre of land where she grows amaranthus, fluted pumpkin, eggplant, spinach and okra. She learned how to farm from her parents and has been making a living at it for the last 20 years. After Pauline married, she moved to the city with her husband where she continued to farm. Owning no … More Are public goods for the public?
Rural development and land reform without research support will breed hunger in South Africa, and a hungry man is an angry man. Good food gives people good dispositions. These were the sentiments of Dr Moshe Swartz of the Department of Land Reform and Rural Development in South Africa. He was a keynote speaker at the Agricultural Research Council field … More “A Hungry Man is an Angry Man”
Setting objectives, strategic approaches and defining pathways for future change in agriculture are all fine, but they are nothing without collective action, as I learned during the Third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) in Johannesburg recently. One of the themes of the conference was “Ensuring better rural futures”, and it focused on the practical use … More Working Together for A Better Future
“I ask all of the women in the room to please stand up. You are all ‘excellencies’ here; you are feeding the world.” This was how Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chief Executive Officer and Head of Mission for the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) opened her keynote address at the Third Global Conference on … More Time for African Women to Receive an ‘AWARD’
The 3rd Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) is a consultative process which aims to develop collective actions under outcome statements. Here at the Global Event at Johannesburg, South Africa, the conference is divided into five themes: 1) Scaling up from research to impact; 2) showcasing results and demonstrating impact; 3) keeping science … More “Having foresight” is important. But “using it” can transform the future.
If you think the term ‘change begins with you’ is a cliché, I will prove you wrong! Changing people’s perceptions and behaviours, especially farming practices, is not an easy task. Research for development organizations have to foster good relationships with farmers so that they own the processes to enhance sustainability. That is why it’s important … More Unmasking hidden potential at #GCARD3
It is widely recognized that most research sits on shelves or is stored in computer databases rather than being disseminated and used. The most common challenge in disseminating research is the language in which reports are prepared. Researchers may be experts in their fields but the users of the research are common people in the … More Keeping the Research Out of the Museum
If you think the Panama papers issue is not a “wicked” problem, think again. While the issue of tax evasion by influential individuals may not appear to affect the average person in the street, ultimately this kind of corruption means there is less available to invest services of public interest, such as research and development dealing with more serious global “wicked” problems. In her keynote address … More “Wicked Problems” and the Panama Papers …
Effective knowledge and information sharing is at the heart of translating research into impact. During the recent Third Global Conference for Agricultural Research (GCARD3) I spoke with Pamella R. Thomas, a Regional Director from the Caribbean Farmers’ Network (CaFAN), about a fascinating information-sharing strategy from the Caribbean that by-passes political territorialism. The Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN), formed in … More Fifteen Countries, One Language
“Double the agenda!”. With these emphatic words Hillbur Ylva, Deputy Director of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), described how she would like to see research on gender and youth issues in agricultural development evolve in the next five years. In the past decade, we have witnessed increasing recognition of the importance of considering … More Doubling the gender and youth research agenda
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed to in 2015, address issues of human well-being. SDG 15 is titled “Life on land” and its aim is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems. This goal calls for the sustainable management of forests, the combat of desertification, the halting and reversing of land degradation and the halting of biodiversity loss. Although … More The Sustainable Development Goals: MESHing with the Environment
In the words of Professor Paramu Mafongoya,’The importance of science is to solve problems’. Climate change is a very big problem for food security and for smallholder farmers, particularly in Africa, and it was one of the topics up for discussion during the ‘Keeping Science Relevant and future-focused’ session , part of the third Global … More Keeping an eye on the weather