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The global food system is undergoing its greatest threats since the Green Revolution of the 1960s. Broken supply chains, a pandemic and human conflict are adding to the existential crises caused by climate change and population growth. Rural communities and those living in marginal environments are amongst the most vulnerable to these threats but is the higher education system able to meet their needs and address the challenges that the face now and in the future?

In this GFAR Talk, our two speakers discussed the question;

`Can higher education better meet the needs of rural agricultural communities?'

Dr. Jim French, Secretary-General The Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA)

Dr. French has more than 40 years of international experience in research, education, and development.  As Academic Vice President of EARTH University for 15 years he led the development of an international, innovative, student learning focused educational system based on experiential learning.  Dr. French currently leads the "Transforming Higher Education" Project on behalf of the American University of Beirut in partnership with GCHERA, EARTH University and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Vincent Mariadho, National Coordinator Kenya Promoting Local innovation in ecologically oriented agriculture and NRM (Prolinnova)

Vincent holds a BSc in Management of Agroecosystems & Environment and has training in farmer-led research in climate change, agroecology, livelihood and partnership development, resource mobilization, food security and gender mainstreaming. His work on strengthening the capacity of small-scale farmers in participatory innovation development (PID) includes efforts to integrate this approach into institutions of higher learning in agriculture. As the National Coordinator of Prolinnova–Kenya, which includes partners from universities, he has identified, documented, disseminated several local innovations and facilitated PID led by farmers. 

Watch the full recording here.

Think Piece

Agriculture can be a role model for transformation of higher education

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