19/12/2017

Season’s Greetings from GFAR Chair Bongiwe Njobe

Collective action – the way of the future!

Dear Friends and Colleagues

Our new GFAR – relaunched in 2016 and further developed by our dynamic Steering Committee in 2017 – is really making an impact as we work together to help to meet the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We live in an increasingly complex and inter-related world that has to contend with new challenges in the face of declining availability of natural and financial resources.  These ‘wicked’ challenges are multi-dimensional, constantly evolving and have numerous stakeholders, causes, symptoms and potential solutions. It follows that responding to them requires institutions that are multifaceted, multilayered and agile.  What has inspired me, coming into this role of GFAR Chair, is recognizing the potential that this unique value of this Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation has to be part of the solutions to the global ‘wicked problems’. I am encouraged by the exciting frameworks and practices to facilitate different stakeholders working together to create change – and in the course of this past year it is clear that we are making change happen!

Over the last year, the number of organizations committing themselves into GFAR has doubled. There are now over 540 organizations and networks directly involved in GFAR’s collective actions – together amounting to many millions of people - and the door is wide open to even more.

As a collective movement for change, and an alliance of many, GFAR can through its many partners, bring diverse capabilities and perspectives together. We will continue to work in an open and inclusive manner to talk about, design and implement collective actions in agreed priority areas. The framework for GFAR’s next 4-year Plan of Work is now being actively developed by your Steering Committee representatives. In 2018, the Partners in GFAR will be shaping the collective actions required within this frame and be able to join into the working groups taking forward each theme together. This requires an increased sense of urgency, true partnership, greater accountability for demonstrable results and visibility of impacts.

GFAR is your forum, you own it, you need to drive it as you are the ones who will making it succeed through your passion and commitment.

We look forward to a very exciting and productive year of collective action in 2018 and, on behalf of the GFAR Executive Committee and Secretariat, I wish you a restful end of year, happy festive holidays and sincere wishes for a reinvigorating 2018 New Year.

With best wishes,

Bongiwe Njobe

GFAR Chair

GFAR Update is a briefing service from the GFAR Secretariat. Our aim is to keep you regularly informed and aware of new initiatives and Collective Actions of the Partners in GFAR around the world, so that these can have greater reach and impact for those we serve - in particular for poor smallholder farmers and consumers.

GFAR champions farmers’ rights to seed and natural resources in new video

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...
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A Call for Collective Action on Climate Change – Closing remarks by Mark Holderness at GACSA Annual Forum

Using GFAR's collective action principles as a basis, Dr. Holderness called on all those concerned with the future of agriculture to urgently engage with wider society as a collective movement for change, working together through concrete actions to tackle these "wicked” and complex problems that no one can resolve by themselves.

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Because we care: How Partners in GFAR are transforming agricultural learning

Because we, the Partners in GFAR, care about the future of our youth and the future of agriculture, education is one of our most important agendas. Many young people in Sub-Saharan Africa leave school without being able to properly read...
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GFAR puts forward high-level action plan for brighter future in Burkina Faso

A delegation from the GFAR Secretariat was received last week by the Minister of Agriculture and Water Management of Burkina Faso, the Honorable Jacob Ouedraogo, to discuss developing collective actions to solve problems in agriculture at scale in the country...
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Living Territories 2018

22/01/2018 to 24/01/2018
City: Montpellier
Country: France
The aim of this event is to debate the role of rural territories and of their interaction with urban areas to the achievement of sustainable development, both locally an globally.
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AAIN Conference and Expo (AAICE)

07/03/2018 to 09/03/2018
City: Dakar
Country: Senegal
This is the only Africa and continent wide conference focused on Agribusiness Incubation. Africa's largest African Agribusiness Conference and Expo...

Learning about data for farmers and how it can help to “cross the donga”

In the week of 20-24 November 2017, GFAR convened a course and symposium on Farmers’ access to data in Centurion, South Africa. This event is an example of the activities that GFAR wants to promote towards ensuring that communities determine...
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Webinar Wrap-Up: Effective Tools for Understanding, Managing and Accelerating Impact

In a recent GFAR webinar, the Committee on Sustainability Assessment’s (COSA) teamed up with GFAR and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) to “Brace for Impact”: together they examined the question of how to design effective measurement tools for the understanding,...
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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...
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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,...
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Investing in Africa’s young population to drive the Continent’s Agenda

According to the United Nations report, by 2050, there will be an increase of 1.3 billion in Africa’s population. Africa’s growth is expected to move from 1 to 4 billion people. Forty-five percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is below the...

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