Skip to main content
(From Left): Keron Bascombe, Fernando Antunez, Sayed Azam-Ali, Genna Tesdal, Rula Kamal, Ravi Khetarpal, Hildegard Lingnau, Nana Osei-Bonsu, Manish Rai, Hugo Chavarria

March 22, 2024

At the sidelines of the VIII Global Conference on Family Farming organized by WRF from March 19 to 21 in Vitora - Gasteiz, the Global Forum for Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAiR) convened its annual Steering Committee (SC) meeting. The hybrid meeting served as a platform to update members on recent important achievements, such as the successful conclusion and delivery of the EC-funded project and the transition in hosting from FAO to CGIAR/ABC from Feb 1st, 2024, following the signing of a hosting agreement.

GFAiR’s Chair Dr. Ravi Khetarpal highlighted that this move signified a new chapter in GFAiR's journey, providing enhanced opportunities for collaboration and synergies within the agricultural research community. He added that to achieve this, a revision of the GFAiR Charter was indispensable to make it crisper and more strategic and to supplement it with Management Standards. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) offered its support in this endeavour. Dr. Ravi stressed the urgency of the Charter revision by noting that the sub-committee already formed will need to expedite it. Additionally, he emphasized the need for resource mobilization as top priority for the sustainability of GFAiR.

GFAiR’s funder, EC’s DG INTPA, also expressed support for the organization’s work: “We are happy to maintain support to GFAiR to deliver on its mandate and work with all its partners”.

The meeting also served as a pivotal moment to celebrate the uptake by GFAiRs’ Partnerships Principles by CGIAR’s upcoming Engagement Framework and by Farmers Organisations (FOs). A special event during the VIII Global Conference on Family Farming gave FOs from Africa, Asia and the Pacific an opportunity to show the ways in which co-research helps Small-Scale Producers to tackle the many challenges they are facing.

Event Panelists: (From Left) Hildegard Lingnau - GFAiR Executive Secretary, Leonard Mizzi - Head of Unit. European Commission, DG INTPA, Sara Mercandalli – Researcher, CIRAD, Angela Birch – Program Manager PIFON and Ravinder Khetarpal – APAARI Executive Secretary with Javier Mateo-Vega - Senior Director Partnerships, CGIAR (not in photo) participating remotely.
Event Panelists: (From Left) Hildegard Lingnau - GFAiR Executive Secretary, Leonard Mizzi - Head of Unit. European Commission, DG INTPA, Sara Mercandalli – Researcher, CIRAD, Angela Birch – Program Manager PIFON and Ravinder Khetarpal – APAARI Executive Secretary with Javier Mateo-Vega - Senior Director Partnerships, CGIAR (not in photo) participating remotely.

The discussions during the SC meeting focused on the establishment of the Global NARS Consortium (GNC) and GFAiR’s Collective Actions (CAs). The meeting also noted the need for improvements in carrying out the collective actions which are at the heart of GFAiR. Additionally, it was emphasized that GFAiR should now work in a more decentralized manner through its key partners, the Regional Networks to show its global presence and optimize the use of resources.

Dr. Ravi Khetarpal thanked GFAiR’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Dr. Hildegard Lingnau, for managing GFAiR’s Secretariat well during exceedingly challenging times of uncertainty and transition. “After the transition into its new hosting, GFAiR is now well positioned to deliver on its many ambitions.”
As the meeting concluded, participants expressed enthusiasm to work together in partnership, to make best use of agricultural research and innovation in driving positive change for the transformation of the agrifood system.