Michael HailuThe challenge of feeding nine billion people by 2050 against the backdrop of a changing climate, a dynamic global socio-economic environment and an ever-shrinking natural resource base requires research and innovative partnerships of higher magnitude than we have seen before. Traditional ways of doing research in labs and experiment stations and publishing the papers in academic journals will not be enough. Neither will we meet the challenge by continuing to have farmers producing small surpluses whenever the rains come, waiting for buyers and then selling at throwaway prices. We need research and partnerships that address the constraints smallholders face along the entire value chain - from improving productivity to reducing post-harvest losses and enhancing processing, transport and marketing – so that they can improve their income and ensure food security for all. Some of the world’s most prominent figures in agricultural research met at the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2) at the end of October in Punta del Este, Uruguay and discussed these issues. Under the theme, “Foresight and partnership for innovation and impact on smallholder livelihoods”, they discussed how research must be reshaped to better answer the needs of farmers and make agricultural value chains more effective. Bringing together researchers, education and extension specialists, government officials, civil society and the private sector, the conference highlighted the need to forge innovative partnerships at different levels and build the competencies of women and young people to bring about transformative changes in the agricultural sector. CTA hosted a side event during GCARD2 on Managing Water for Agriculture and Food in ACP countries addressing water security, climate change, green growth, gender and youth issues.

Michael Hailu Director - CTA

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