What does GFAR do?

GFAR enables open dialogue and Collective Actions to transform systems and processes of agri-food research and innovation. Through networked and Collective Actions, we are contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We enable rural communities to determine their own futures, bringing new opportunity for youth and women in particular. We bring focus and accountability to the needs of resource-poor farmers and consumers. We break down barriers between institutions because we know that together we can do what no one institution can do alone.

GFAR Mission: 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

GFAR catalyses and pioneers change in selected processes of innovation, around specific themes, to explore how systems and institutions can best be transformed and better integrated in practice and demonstrate the value of these fundamental changes.

Who makes up GFAR?

GFAR is a voluntary collective movement of over 580 self-declared Partner institutions and networks working together to shape a new future for agriculture and food. The extensive GFAR network together mobilizes millions of people around the world, from farmers and consumers to advanced research and international organizations. GFAR bridges the gaps between the public, private and civil society sectors. GFAR is facilitated and hosted by the UN Agencies FAO and IFAD.

How does GFAR work?

As a networked movement, GFAR provides the essential ‘glue’ to bind the pieces of this complex mosaic together. It is the ‘oil’ in the system that enables different stakeholders to interact equitably and work effectively together towards commonly desired outcomes and impacts. It does so by facilitating the inception, learning, communication and co-financing of multistakeholder Collective Actions.
GFAR fosters and develops Collective Actions among its diverse Partners to make development impacts around the world, at local, national, regional and international scales. At the center of it all are the needs of the farmers themselves, whose voices are not only brought to the table, but listened to and used as a guide.
Truly informed and empowered with this knowledge, the Partners in GFAR bring their own commitments and extensive resources, to work together in new and exciting ways that really bring change and impact on the ground. GFAR not only catalyzes Collective Actions, but also ensures—by developing participatory M&E and capitalization methods for harvesting results— that these become joint learning pathways, to inform and engage those driving transformative change in National Agri-Food Research and Innovation Systems.

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Why the need?

Our current agri-food systems are at an impasse and, without further innovation, cannot meet the complex demands of the Sustainable Development Goals. Complex development challenges, such as hunger and poverty, depletion of natural resources, climate change, as well as efforts to achieve good health and nutrition, gender equality, quality education, decent work for youth and strong institutions, all affect or are affected by agri-food systems. Such challenges, with their synergies and trade-offs, cannot be addressed by single technology fixes.
Innovation occurs through complex, interactive pathways of knowledge generation, access, adaptation and use among many actors. However, our innovation systems are currently under-resourced, fragmented and incapable of delivering change on the scale required for the SDGs. Unlocking the potential of agri-food research and innovation to deliver to the SDGs requires collective action to transform and strengthen Agricultural Innovation Systems and their connection with society. To do so, diverse actors and knowledge systems must be mobilized in new and transformative ways. A shift must be made from linear to interactive approaches, putting the voices of resource poor-farmers and consumers at the centre of such processes.

When? The time is now!

Agricultural research takes 15-20 years to be taken up and benefit the lives of the poor. The choices we make now will directly determine our ability to meet the ambitious 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The goals can only be met if we develop new ways of working, break down institutionalized barriers, and create the required capacities and investments at all levels. We must embed research and innovation in wider agri-food and rural development processes centered on, and shaped by, the needs and participation of smallholder farmers and poor consumers themselves.

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