Director General of ICARDA Mr. Aly Abousabaa, accompanied by Dr. Kamel Shideed, Assistant Director General - International Cooperation, and Dr. Solomon Assefa, Regional Coordinator of SARD-SC- wheat project funded by AFDB, participated in the Third Knowledge Forum of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), held at the headquarters of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome from 30 May to 1 June.
Established in response to the 2008-2009 global food price crisis, the GAFSP promotes long-term sustainable investment to build resilience and improve agricultural productivity in low-income countries. ICARDA contributed as a global research-for-development organization with 40 years of experience, which aims to end poverty and enhance food and water security through sustainable management of natural resources in the face of climate change.
Mr. Aly Abousabaa outlined potential areas for cooperation between GAFSP and ICARDA, which has a proven advisory position for high-level decision makers and plays the role of facilitator in innovation platforms where ICARDA operates.
Innovation platforms provide targeted support to smallholder farmers as they advance from subsistence farming, to farmer organizations, and eventually to full commercial viability. In the field of agricultural research, for developments, such platforms are an important element of a commitment to more intentional, structured and long-term engagement among stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
Potential areas of collaboration include raising agricultural productivity, linking farmers to markets, reducing risk and vulnerability, improving non-farm rural livelihoods, and providing technical assistance.
Mr. Abousabaa showcased a number of successful ICARDA initiatives around the world, such as shifting the rural economy from import to export in Ethiopia, improving land and water management in Yemen, and rehabilitating the agricultural sector in post-conflict Afghanistan.
The Knowledge Forum brought together experiences from a broad portfolio of GAFSP projects in both the public and private sectors. Over 60 participants shared innovative ideas and practical experiences on a range of issues.