Agriculture / CGIAR

Jimmy Smith and Frank Rijsberman speak out at FARA’s Africa Agriculture Science Week

Jimmy Smith with Kanayo Nwanze, president of IFAD, at AASW6

ILRI director general Jimmy Smith (left) confers with Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) at the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6), in Accra, Ghana, 15–20 Jul 2013, organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

During the just-concluded sixth Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and held in Accra, Ghana, 20–25 Jul 2013, Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), represented CGIAR at a press conference.

The press conference panel of speakers comprised  a ‘Who’s Who’ in African agricultural research for development:
Jimmy Smith, director general of ILRI
Tiemoko Yo, chairman of the FARA board of trustees
Monty Jones, 2004 World Food Prize winner and founder of FARA who last week stepped down executive director
Clement Kofi Humado, minister of agriculture in Ghana
Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, chief executive officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, commissioner of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission (AUC-DREA)

FARA's Tiemoko Yo and AU's Tumusiime Peace sign MOU at AASW6

Tiemoko Yo, chairman of FARA, and Tumusiime Peace, of African Union, sign MOU at the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

In his remarks, Jimmy Smith spoke about how smallholders are the focus of his and many other of these institutions. ‘We are working to help them become part of the food security response in Africa, to support them in transforming rural economies.’

The ILRI director general explained how CGIAR works in collaboration, through strong partnerships, with regional organisations such as FARA and other African sub-regional organizations, such as the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD).

CGIAR’s main role is to bring international science to bear on the challenges faced by the respective regions.—Jimmy Smith, ILRI

Jimmy Smith at AASW6

Jimmy Smith at the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

During a plenary keynote speech delivered last week (Thu 18 Jul 2013), Frank Rijsberman, chief executive officer of the CGIAR Consortium, spoke about the challenge of food security and the evolution of CGIAR. Rijsberman said that from a CGIAR perspective, two things are most important in meeting the needs of Africa’s farmers: taking a collaborative approach and ensuring alignment of priorities.

The CGIAR CEO updated the FARA delegates on new CGIAR priorities. The most important of these, he said, is ‘ensuring that science- and technology-based innovations contribute to beneficial development outcomes’ and for which, he said, CGIAR is holding itself accountable.

Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium, is interviewed at AASW6

Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium, is interviewed at the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

The reformed CGIAR is focused on generating results through effective partnerships, sustainable intensification by and for the poor and retaining Africa as a focus, with 53% of CGIAR investments currently going to the region.—Frank Rijsberman, CGIAR

Focusing on the theme of the session, Rijsberman explained how CGIAR is already engaged with hundreds of partners, all committed to achieving a food-secure future. The Dublin Process, he said, is an example of alignment and partnership in action. As such, CGIAR now ‘stands ready to respond to Africa’s needs’, a remark applauded by the FARA delegates and the other eminent panel members.

About AASW6
FARA’s 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6), in Accra, Ghana, included marketplace exhibitions (15–20 Jul 2013), side events on sub-themes (15–16), a ministerial roundtable alongside a Ghana Day (17 Jul), plenary sessions (18–19) and a FARA Business Meeting (20 Jul). The discussions were captured on Twitter (hashtag #AASW6) and blogged about on the FARA AASW6 blog.

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