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On 15-17 May 2002 the second conference of the European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD) was held in Rome under the banner of ¿Strengthening the European Contribution to Agricultural Research for Development¿. The conference was organised by the EFARD Steering Committee, composed of persons from public-sector institutions of agricultural research, education and administration. There does not appear to have been any systematic effort to encourage involvement of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and farmer organisations (FOs). The outstanding exception was Italy, the host country. The local preparatory group for the conference invited Italian NGOs to join and allocated four delegate seats to them. These four NGOs invested considerable time preparing for the conference: discussing issues and formulating various thematic statements based on own reflections as well as on reports and papers of civil society organisations (CSOs) from the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) conference in Dresden in 2000 and various regional meetings supported by the NGO Committee of the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research).
Preparatory meeting of CSOs. This small group met immediately before the conference in order to become better acquainted with each other, to discuss our expectations from and possible contributions to partnerships in agricultural research for development (ARD), to prepare for collaboration during the conference, and to plan how to influence ARD in the future. Participants came from: Agrecol (Germany), ALISEI (Italy), AVSI (Italy), BOAT (UK), Crocevia (Italy), ELKANA (Georgia), ETC (Netherlands), Swedish Farmers Federation (also member of EU Economic and Social Committee), FOCSIV-LVIA (Italy), FUE (Germany), GRET (France) and Solagral (France). The CSOs continued to meet briefly at breaks during the conference.

Waters-Bayer, Ann
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