FAO-ICARDA partnerships: linking research and development

June 4, 2012 at 6:57 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FAO Regional Conference for the Near East, 16 May, Rome

New technologies are available. What’s needed: closer links between research and development, to scale out these technologies more effectively

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and ICARDA are expanding collaboration to more closely link research with development, and scale out new farming technologies more effectively. This was the focus of discussions at ‘FAO-ICARDA Day’, a special session of the FAO Regional Conference in Rome. The participants included senior FAO management: Dr Laurent Thomas, ADG – Technical Cooperation, division heads and country representatives. The ICARDA delegates included Henri Carsalade, Chair of the Board of Trustees; Dr Mahmoud Solh, Director General; Dr Kamil Shideed, ADG-ICC; and Michael Devlin, Head of Communications.

“The need for greater collaboration between countries, international bodies such as FAO, and the CGIAR research network has never been more important,” Dr Thomas said. Mr Carsalade emphasized the historical and strategic importance of partnerships to link research with development. “Improvements in food security will not happen without partnerships that can make scaling up and technology adoption a reality,” he said. “Research has helped improve productivity and livelihoods in many countries,” Dr Solh said. “But much more effort is needed to spread new technologies more widely.”

Ongoing FAO-ICARDA collaboration covers crop and farming systems improvement, natural resource management, livestock, socio-economics and other areas. This meeting is a first step to broadening this partnership further, and developing a more strategic approach to future collaboration. This would tie in closely with FAO’s objective of expanding its long-standing partnership with the CGIAR.

The conference “called on FAO and ICARDA to strengthen their collaboration in order to link research to development by enhancing extension services and supporting a broader concept of rural advisory services that involves civil society organizations and the private sector, for scaling up research outputs and translating them into innovations.”

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