Thursday 23 March 2017 - The international civil society bodies and NGOs taking part in the GFAR voted the WRF onto the Steering Committee as their representative. This is the first time that civil society and NGOs at global level have had a seat on the Committee, so we are happy to take up this new challenge. Our presence on the Committee provides us with yet another platform on which to lobby for Family Farming in a sector which the WRF has already set as a priority, participatory agricultural research.
The new GFAR Steering Committee comprises 34 representatives elected by 13 sectors involved in research and innovation at international, regional and local level (one being the Global Civil Society and NGO sector represented by the WRF). The Committee met in February to set its agenda for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The GFAR (Global Forum on Agricultural Research) is a multi-stakeholder global forum on agricultural research and innovation working on advocacy for the SDGs.
We would point out that the WRF is also represented on the GFAR Steering Committee via one of its associates, COPROFAM, which is itself a new member of the Committee representing farmer and agricultural worker organizations.
Promoting the connection between agricultural innovation centres and family farming organizations is one of the working topics of the IYFF+10 initiative.
Collaboration and synergy between research centres and family farming organizations are extremely important for building a more coherent and effective agricultural, fishing, and forestry innovation system. Participatory research should also be channelled towards meeting the needs of the target subjects and sectors, who must therefore participate in the system itself, at least at the design, data collection, review of results and dissemination stages.
WRF participation in a forum such as the GFAR thus puts it in a strategic position to lobby for Family Farming and ensure that agricultural research projects focus on improving the quality of life of family farmers.
The GFAR has identified five key focus areas for 2018-2021 and the WRF will be responsible for ensuring that the needs and demands of family farmers are taken into account in each of those areas. The five areas are:
- 1. Enabling and empowering sustainable rural communities
- 2. Increasing knowledge flow for development impact
- 3. Supporting transformative learning and youth leadership development
- 4. Changing value systems and metrics to deliver the SDGs
- 5. Enabling sustainable rural enterprise.
The GFAR and its members will pursue those objectives collectively, seeking impacts that are measurable and not confined solely to productivity, but based on the three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental and economic.
- Interview with Stéphanie Barrial (WRF), Representative of civil society and NGOs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueHoTIp-2yY
- The Voices of GFAR: Messages from the new Steering Committee https://blog.gfar.net/2017/02/22/the-voices-of-gfar-messages-from-the-new-steering-committee/