GCARD soundbites: day 2

We’re more than halfway through the conference already. Will a concrete roadmap be decided on? Will farmers get a fair deal? Will speakers ever stop saying “We can’t do business as usual”? In the meantime, here are some soundbites from the various sessions during day 2:

Heard at the regional presentations:

“What about roots and tubers, what about plantains? CGIAR priorities must line up with [Africa’s].” Uzo Mokwunye, FARA

“[AR4D] can liberate India from hunger and bridge the widening income divide between farmers and non-farmers.” Raj Paroda, APAARI

Heard at a media briefing for Africa’s green revolution:

“If you look at the successes we lazily call Asia, they’re really focused on specific countries … it was country leadership that made the difference” Hartmann, director of IITA

“Let’s … get the fertilisers down to the farm gate.” Monty Jones, incoming GFAR chair

“In my view there is no reason why [agriculture] must not be considered a public good. Everyone needs to eat, everyone needs to be in nutritional good shape.” Namanga Ngongi, president of AGRA

“How can we not know that agriculture is a frontline of health?” Hartmann

“Africa needs more investment but not the kind that puts people out of work and farmers out of their lands.” Ngongi

And elsewhere …

“We have no recipe, no cookbooks, no spices – the roadmap is meant to be a menu of options.” Uma Lele, GCARD global author

“Money is used in the name of farmers so they should be the ones to say whether the research is good or not.” Raul Montemayor, Federation of Free Farmers, Phillipines

“There’s not a lot that’s new here in concept but what may be new is that we do it this time.” Kevin Cleaver, International Fund for Agricultural Development

Naomi Antony
Assistant news editor, SciDev.Net 

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