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From Left: GFAR Chair Dr Ravi Khetarpal and Global Director of Partnerships and Advocacy CGIAR and Director General of the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) Juan Lucas Restrepo sign the hosting agreement while System Board Chair Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda looks on.

Rabat, Morocco - October 17, 2023

The Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR) today signed a new hosting agreement with CGIAR research center, the Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT (ABC). The signing ceremony took place during the 19th CGIAR System Council Meeting in Rabat, Morocco.

The new hosting arrangement underscores GFAR’s commitment to fulfilling its original mission and mandate, to complement CGIAR’s work by incorporating perspectives from the Global South. It supports CGIAR collaboration with members of GFAR’s extensive multistakeholder network, comprising 900 institutional members - mainly, but not only from the Global South - from 13 different constituencies, all focused on agrifood system transformation.

GFAR and CGIAR have a long and constructive history, with GFAR serving as an “active observer” on the ’CGIAR System Council, and CGIAR standing as a member of GFAR’s Steering Committee. CGIAR’s  System Board appointed GFAR's Executive Secretary along with the Executive Secretaries of five Regional Fora within GFAR, to serve on the High Level Advisory Panel (HLAP) to advise on enhancing partnerships with the Global South. This panel was tasked with providing strategic guidance to enhance CGIAR's engagement with countries and regional partners. CGIAR and GFAR are working together to implement the recommendations of the HLAP report.

Following the publication of the HLAP report, GFAR was entrusted by the Regional Fora on Agricultural Research and Innovation (AARINENA, APAARI, CACAARI, FARA, and FORAGRO) with the important mission of establishing a Global NARS Consortium (GNC).  GFAR has begun convening the NARS from around the world and looks forward to a global GNC launch event in cooperation with CGIAR in 2024.

The new hosting agreement follows a comprehensive consultative process that culminated in a unanimous decision by GFAR’s Steering Committee's to transition GFAR from its current hosting in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)  to CGIAR and is scheduled to take effect on February 1, 2024 when GFAR will be referred to as GFAiR, to reflect that it is a Global Forum for Agricultural Research and Innovation and to underscore the fact that it is value driven, aiming to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Remarks during the ceremony:

 • Dr. Ravi Khetarpal, GFAR’s Chair: Hosting of GFAR/GFAiR by CGIAR research center, (Alliance Bioversity-CIAT,) is bound to enhance its contribution through innovative approaches for agri-food system transformation and through scaling up of partnerships and collective actions. The Global NARS Consortium being established by GFAR will be an ideal platform for CGIAR to enhance its contributions for Global South.

• Prof. Dr. Hildegard Lingnau, GFAR’s Executive Secretary, thanked FAO and IFAD for co-facilitating GFAR and the EC (DG INTPA) for funding. She committed GFAR / GFAiR to do its utmost to joining forces in agricultural innovation and research to contribute impactfully to the much-needed transformation of the agrifood system.

• Juan Lucas Restreppo, Director General, ABC and CGIAR Global Director, Partnership and Advocacy: "I welcome this new chapter in our partnership, which is the culmination of long-running collaboration between our organizations. It reflects CGIAR’s strong focus on engagement with regional and country partners around the world as we deliver our mission to transform food, land, and water in a climate crisis.