The 3rd edition of the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) began today in Boksburg, South Africa.
The conference, with the theme ‘No One Left Behind; Agri–food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World’, is co-hosted by CGIAR, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC).
With focus on realigning research needs and priorities with countries’ own development needs and national processes and with the Sustainable Development Goals, the GCARD3 is organized as the global event within a broader process of national and regional multi-stakeholder consultations taking place from 2015-2016.
Following today’s official opening session, the main Conference will take place on 6 and 8 April and will be organized around five thematic discussions: ‘Scaling up – from research to impact’; ‘Showcasing results and demonstrating impact’; ‘Keeping science relevant and future-focused’; ‘Sustaining the business of farming’; and ‘Ensuring better rural futures.’
A major outcome of meeting will be the GCARD3 Pledge to Sustainable Development, in which GCARD stakeholders will make commitments to take action to deliver on the SDGs. The Pledge is expected to serve as a “touchstone” for partners across public, private, and civil society sectors in developing their agri-food research and innovations programs and activities to 2030.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the host institution, ‘ARC Day’ will take place on 7 April, with interactive discussions and exhibitions at the ARC Roodeplaat campus, and visits to ARC field trial sites as well as farms where ARC projects are being undertaken with external partners.
GCARD was created to promote effective, targeted investment and build partnership, capacities and mutual accountabilities at all levels of the agricultural system to meet the needs of resource-poor farmers and their communities. GCARD1 took place in 2010, resulted in the ‘GCARD Road Map,’ a six-point plan for transforming agricultural research for development around the world. In 2012, GCARD2 identified pathways to impact, which led to 15 new commitments around partnership, capacity development and foresight aimed at reforming the CGIAR System.