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About GFAR

GFAiR was jointly established by FAO, IFAD, The World Bank and CGIAR and is the only multi-stakeholder global forum in which public, private and civil actors, across all aspects of the generation, access, transformation and use of agri-food knowledge, come together through their own representative mechanisms, to collectively shape the future of agriculture and realize desired SDG impacts.

In December 1994, an International Consultation entitled "Towards a NARS Vision of International Agricultural Research" was convened by IFAD in Rome, within the framework of the process of renewal of the CGIAR System. Some 80 National Agricultural Research System (NARS) leaders came together and produced a Declaration with concrete actions to strengthen NARS-CGIAR partnership. The Lucerne Ministerial-Level Meeting, which followed in February 1995, urged the CGIAR “to accelerate the process of systematizing participation by NARS of developing countries in setting and implementing the Consultative Group’s agenda". Read more


GFAR makes agri-food research and innovation systems more effective, responsive and equitable, towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals


Partners in GFAR, at national, regional and international levels, advocate for, and catalyse Collective Actions that strengthen and transform agri-food research and innovation systems.

Our Constituencies

GFAR aims to achieve a balanced representation across regions and stakeholder groups. Partners in GFAR encompass a great diversity of groups including networks, networks of networks, fora, alliances, member- based organizations, and groups of individual and institutional members or associates - at local, national, regional and international levels.

The Partners in GFAR have themselves declared their alignment with GFAR’s Vision and Mission to the GFAR Secretariat. They are grouped into GFAR Constituencies, as shown in the table below. However, as GFAR seeks to overcome institutional barriers, these constituencies do not work in isolation. Rather, they work together through Collective Action, the overarching principle guiding GFAR’s work.

Farmers, cooperatives & agricultural workers

When agricultural research and development stakeholders came together to establish GFAR in 1996, one of the main objectives was to have farmers at the centre of the agenda. GFAR catalyzes and supports programmes that empower farmers by influencing policy and investment, and by building their capacity to contribute to national, regional and global agri-food research and innovation agendas.

GFAR provides the opportunity for partners and associates from all constituencies to project their voices. This is particularly important for farmers and agricultural workers, who have often been marginalized in the decisions vital to their livelihoods and to transformations in agriculture that affect technology, infrastructure, services and investments. GFAR offers a forum to develop strategic partnerships and alliances for agricultural innovation among their organizations as well as with other actors in agri-food research and innovation.

At global level, the Global Forum benefits from its association with the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO)  and its 72 National Farmers’ Organizations members and from the local level the Confederación de Organizaciones de Productores Familiares del Mercosur Ampliado (COPROFAM) who sit on the GFAR Steering Committee representing over 35 GFAR Partners in this constituency. 


Civil Society Organizations/Non-governmental Organizations in agriculture, food & rural development

Civil Society and Non Governmental Organizations (CSOs and NGOs) have literally exploded in number, scope, membership and financial and political importance in recent decades. Their numbers, diversity and capacities have grown at local, national, regional and global levels, with some large international NGOs with budgets and staff equivalent to major institutions and companies.

Food, agriculture and a focus on rural areas and communities remain at the heart of the mandates and programmes of many NGOs/CSOs. They pursue initiatives in applied research on trends in agriculture, the environment, and rural landscapes, and have become the primary providers of rural advisory services in many countries. Their role is vital in generating and transforming knowledge into innovative products and services, and as Partners in GFAR for taking research and innovation results to scale.

Over 134 Civil Society and NGOs are Partners in GFAR. The World Rural Forum, an organization with 42 instititual partners from around the world represents this constituency at the global level on the GFAR Steering Committee and the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) at the local level. 


Consumer Organizations

Transforming national research and innovation systems not only benefits farmers but consumers too, who are also demanding more environmentally sustainable productivity growth, better nutrition and food security. Consumer organizations play a vital role in accelerating consumer awareness and educating consumers. They are a key constituency in GFAR. 

Donors & investors

GFAR is working to address the vast investment gaps in agricultural research for development and to link research investment to wider development commitments. The involvement in GFAR will help the investor constituency to act in concert with other stakeholders in order to develop innovative funding strategies and to participate in the programming of activities. We aim to develop processes that coordinate agri-food research and innovation investments directly with wider rural development commitments.

Our partners include bi-lateral and multi-lateral donor agencies, development banks and philanthropic foundations. Current and past donors to the Global Forum

G20/Upstream Research Organizations

GFAR Partners include research organizations from G20 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.) Research organizations in these countries undertake advanced, often upstream research and although not directly related to developing country applications still have great value in the global scene of agri-food research and development. 

GFAR Foundation Members

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)  have a special role as founding partners of GFAR and as facilitating agencies.

FAO has an additional administrative responsibility, hosting the GFAR Secretariat at its headquarters in Rome and providing a legal identity for GFAR, through a joint Memorandum of Agreement with IFAD. 

IFAD supports staff in the GFAR Secretariat and has been a generous investor in GFAR-related projects and events.  

Higher Education

The Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for the Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA) represents more than 600 universities around the world.

The GCHERA Higher Education Associations are brought together in support of a mission to (1) encourage mutual understanding and global co-operation among higher education associations and their constituent member institutions in supporting innovation, and (2) to provide within the global context leadership in education, research and outreach in agricultural and life sciences.

It is working to improve the quality and relevance of agricultural education to attract more young people into the sector and to better meet the needs of rural communities. 

GCHERA and the University of Nairobi represent the 59 GFAR Partners in this constituency on the GFAR Steering Committee at the global and local levels respectively. 

International research institutions

As one of the main international agricultural research systems, CGIAR is a worldwide partnership addressing agricultural research for development, whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.

The work of CGIAR is carried out by 15 Research Centers, that are members of the CGIAR System, in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations and the private sector.

The Research Centers generate and disseminate knowledge, technologies, and policies for agricultural development through the CGIAR Research Programs

Another global agricltural research system partnering in GFAR is the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA). The mission of AIRCA is “Putting research into use by strengthening capacities for sustainable improvements to incomes, food and nutrition security in healthy landscapes”. Through sharing AIRCA’s knowledge and experience in creating healthy landscapes, the group seeks to work together for greater impact and raise awareness of the benefits of landscape approaches among potential stakeholders in the agricultural and environmental sectors. In 2013 AIRCA released a white paper offering recommendations for transforming rural livelihoods in the developing world at the “landscape level.”

Private sector companies and organizations including input industries, SMEs and market & food industries

Delivering on development outcomes requires inclusive and effective partnerships that go well beyond public sector science and research. GFAR works with all elements of the private sector including input producers; small and medium enterprises; and food chain and market organizations. 

There are over 50 Private Sector Partners in GFAR, represented by the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) and the Private Enterprise Federation (Ghana).

Regional Fora of national agricultural & food research and development institutions and Regional government agencies

The 19 regional agricultural research and development organizations of countries from the North and South are represented in GFAR by eight Regional Fora.

They bring together networks of research institutions and stakeholders to identify priorities for action and to exchange information and ideas.

The Fora operate in: 

Read more ›

Rural Advisory Services

The visibility of rural advisory services (RAS) has in recent years increased on the global agenda. Still there is a need for enhanced individual and institutional capacity development within RAS and sharing of experience at local and regional levels. Worldwide, stakeholders in the rural advisory sector have expressed demand for a dynamic, proactive, and formal structure to assure a credible and clear voice for RAS.

In response to this need GFAR co-founded, and remains a Steering Committee member of the Global Forum on Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS). The GFRAS vision is to see rural advisory services effectively contributing to the sustainable reduction of hunger and poverty worldwide. Its mission is to provide advocacy and leadership on rural advisory services within the global development agenda.

In its support to the GFAR Medium Term Plan, GFRAS aims to strengthen and bring new international linkages to advisory service providers within the global development agenda and advocates for creating and resourcing effective advisory services for today’s needs.

GFAR is fully engaged in fostering the GFRAS mechanism to reform processes in the advisory service and extension sector through capacity development & collective learning. The GFAR Secretariat directly supports all initiatives that strategically contribute to the same purpose. Examples include the following conferences:


Women in agriculture & food

Nearly half of all those working on smallholder farms are women and yet, despite their significance, women commonly suffer huge gender inequalities in access to land, productive resources, markets, decent jobs and information.

Since no single institution or individual can resolve these challenges alone, the Global Forum partners are working together to build a vibrant, collective movement for change. Launched at the first Global Conference on Women in Agriculture (GCWA, New Delhi, March 2012), the Gender in Agriculture Partnership (GAP) promotes and develops collective actions around the world, to strengthen the rights and roles of women in agriculture. The partners in GAP recognize that achieving change requires both strong advocacy and practical actions. GAP operates at different levels through an international group of 'GAP Catalysts' to inspire change and foster collective actions within their own organizations and among different organizations and sectors.

The dozen or more women's organizations that are Partners in GFAR are represented on the GFAR Steering Committee by UN Women and the Barli Development Institute for Rural Women.    

Youth organizations

Recent projections from FAO are that in the next 40 years the world’s population will increase from 7 billion to over 10 billion. At the same time, agriculture is an ageing and undervalued profession for which there is a declining interest among young people. Who will feed this growing population and how? 

In order to tackle this issue, GFAR believes that youth, as key stakeholders in the future of agri-food research and innovation, must be involved. Young professionals face numerous challenges including making their voices heard and exerting influence in the field of agri-food research and innovation. Lack of youth involvement  has negative implications for the sector, reducing the potential for innovation, use of new communication technologies, inclusivity and future sustainability.

In response to this on the 8th of November 2006, during the triennial conference of the GFAR, in New Delhi, India: the current Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) was officially launched and it is now hosted by the Global Forum's Secretariat. YPARD is joined by Tech4agri to represent the Youth constituency on the GFAR Steering Committee



Our Values


GFAR values diversity and aims to engage all stakeholders in the agricultural research and innovation system, including farmers, researchers, policymakers, civil society organizations, and the private sector


GFAR recognizes that achieving sustainable agricultural development requires collective action and cooperation among all stakeholders in the system. Therefore, GFAR promotes partnerships and collaboration among stakeholders at all levels.


GFAR encourages the development and adoption of innovative approaches to address the challenges facing the agricultural sector. GFAR recognizes that research and innovation are critical for achieving sustainable development goals.


GFAR recognizes the importance of continuous learning and improvement in the agricultural sector. Therefore, GFAR encourages the sharing of knowledge, best practices, and experiences among stakeholders in the system.


GFAR focuses on achieving tangible and measurable impacts in the agricultural sector. GFAR works to ensure that research and innovation lead to practical solutions that improve the lives of farmers and contribute to sustainable development.