AVRDC Director General Dyno Keatinge represented the Center at the second Global Conference on Agricultural Research and Development (GCARD II) in Punta del Este, Uruguay from 29 October – 1 November 2012. The event brought together 658 participants from 101 countries—and more than 1000 people on-line—to explore foresight and partnership for innovation and impact on smallholder livelihoods. Sessions addressed diverse perspectives and realities around delivering change in these key agendas. The parallel sessions built from existing programs, finding synergies and connections to lead to large-scale and tangible outcomes, owned by all involved. At GCARD II, participants:
- Considered how agricultural research for development (AR4D) systems can align with major national
and global development policies.
- Repositioned women farmers’ needs firmly at the center of AR4D processes.
- Directly engaged the voices of youth into consideration of the issues involved.
- Developed and agreed collective actions that will bring together diverse foresight analyses, to better understand future needs and priorities and help us all to shape the future we desire, particularly exploring the future for smallholder farming.
- Highlighted innovative agricultural research-for-development agendas: household nutrition, gender-based needs, attracting young people into agriculture, meeting the needs of communities shattered by protracted crises, linking farmers to markets, adapting to climate change, and fostering community-centered innovation.
- Set out what is required for action to track and stimulate investments and returns and make these more effective and comprehensive, linking public, private and civil mechanisms.
The Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA) made its debut at the conference. AVRDC is a member of this nine-institution consortium that aims to balance livelihood improvement for small-scale farmers and long-term environmental sustainability. Other AIRCA members: CABI, Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Crops for the Future (CFF), International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), African Insect Science for Food and Health (icipe), IFDC, and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR).