GCARD2: Innovation and impact on smallholder livelihoods

Rodrigo de Oliveira Andrade
Latin America correspondent, SciDev.Net

Next week, the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2), which takes place in Punta del Este, Uruguay, will focus its attention on how to implement some of the tasks indentified in the GCARD ‘roadmap’, a document produced during the first GCARD meeting, held in Montpellier, France, in March 2010.

Credit: GCARD2

The document urges collective action to transform and improve the Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) system globally to strengthen it and better meet the needs of the poor, particularly resource-poor farmers, smallholders and rural communities.GCARD2 also aims provide the opportunity for different sectors to share their experiences and knowledge on dealing with key challenges facing agricultural research, technology generation, knowledge dissemination and delivery systems.

What has been done to deliver the key principles of the GCARD roadmap into practical changes? How is the knowledge 0n, and awareness of, future agricultural challenges and the needs of smallholder farmers helping to improve research prioritisation? What sorts of partnerships are required along the complex pathways between research and development to improve the lives of millions? These are some of the questions that will guide the meeting.

The GCARD2 programme includes several parallel sessions, such as ‘Partnerships to Achieve Food and Nutrition Security’ and ‘Environmental Resilience and Foresight Guiding Research and Innovation’, to name a couple.

The conference provides a great chance to update our perspectives with regards to the goals set in the previous meeting, that is, to reach a consensus on important needs in transforming agricultural research for developmentand the solutions required to satisfy those needs; to provide an inclusive mechanism going forward; and to provide a common framework to plan and coordinate actions for development impact.

Daniela Hirschfeld and I will be posting about the proceedings here over the next few days. Watch this space.

This blog post is part of our coverage of GCARD 2012, which takes place on 29 October–1 November 2012 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. To read news and analysis on agricultural research please visit our website.

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