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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

CGARD3: Achieving sustainable agricultural development

By Bob Aston
An opportunity for agricultural research for development stakeholders to make agri-food research, and innovation systems stronger, more effective, and more sustainable takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa in April 5-8, 2016 during the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3).
The theme for GCARD3 “No one Left Behind: Agri-food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World” will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to contribute towards a clear understanding of how to achieve sustainable agricultural development in which “no one is left behind.”
Farmers sharing knowledge during a field day
The Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in collaboration with the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa are hosting the event. The forum will bring together hundreds of representatives from across all agriculture sectors with a stake in the future of agro-food research and innovation.
The five themes of GCARD3 include scaling up: from research to impact; demonstrating results and attracting investment; keeping science relevant and future-focused; sustaining the business of farming; and ensuring better rural futures.
GCARD3 builds on GCARD2 which focused on the partnerships, foresight and capacity development needed to deliver change, and resulted in the reform of CGIAR and GCARD1 which resulted in the “Road Map for Change”, a global strategy paving the way for more responsive and relevant agricultural research.
GCARD3 represents the culmination of a two-year regional and national consultation process, which aims to realign research priorities with countries' development needs and the national processes with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
GCARD3 will be an inclusive, participatory process and an opportunity to shape the future. It will encourage conversations for change in setting a new agenda for agricultural research for development and discussions on emerging applications in agro-food research and innovations.
A major outcome of the event will be the GCARD3 pledge to sustainable development to which the stakeholders will commit to take action on the SDGs and to tackle some of the more topical issues emerging in agri-food research and innovation. The outcome will be a clear understanding of how to achieve sustainable agricultural development in which “no one is left behind.”
Agricultural stakeholders with a stake in the future of agro-food research and innovation created GCARD to bring together science and society to transform agri-food research and innovation around the world.
It aims to promote investment and building partnership, capacities, and mutual accountabilities at all levels of the agri-food system.
As we get close to GCARD3, many smallholder farmers hope that the event will align international research priorities with the needs of rural farmers, and that it will highlight the role of youths in ensuring that there is food security for future generations. Follow the event live at #GCARD3 
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