No One Left Behind: Agri-food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World


GCARD1 (2010) resulted in the “Road Map for Change”, a global strategy paving the way for more responsive and relevant agricultural research. GCARD2 (2012) focused on the partnerships, foresight and capacity development needed to deliver change, and resulted in the reform of the CGIAR. 

Through national and regional consultations, GCARD3 (2015/16) has focused on re-aligning research needs and priorities with countries’ own development needs and national processes and with the Sustainable Development Goals. The CGIAR’s Strategic Results Framework is a direct outcome of this process.

The GCARD3 Global Event, organized by the Global Forum and CGIAR and co-hosted by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa  was held in Johannesburg, South Africa 5-8 April 2016. The Global Event marked a milestone in the GCARD3 process.  

The GCARD3 Global Event was an opportunity for all stakeholders to come together to confirm their commitment to the new sustainable development agenda and to tackle some of the more topical issues emerging in agri-food research and innovation.

GCARD3 Global Event Program›

GCARD3 kicked off on Tuesday 5 April with opening presentations from Shadrack Moephuli, President and CEO, ARC; Mortimer Mannya, Deputy Director General, Agriculture Production, Health and Food, Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, South Africa; and key note speeches from Hamady Diop, Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture Programme, NEPAD Agency and Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CEO, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN).

The first day's plenary on Wednesday 6 April featured a report from Mark Holderness, Executive Secretary of GFAR, reporting on the committments from GCARD1 and GCARD2, followed by a panel session, chaired by Kwesi Atta-Krah (CGIAR) reflecting on the GCARD3 engagement processes at the regional and national level. The keynote speeches on the day were from young agriculturists Jim Cano (YPARD) on strategic inclusion of youth in national, regional and global agricultural systems and Dimakasto Sekhoto (Nono) on her experience as a young, emerging, black, female farmer. 

All GCARD3 Session Playlists›

Building on the preparatory GCARD3 national and regional dialogues, main GCARD3 program was organized around five key themes, with clear outcomes outlined for each, as well as a set of lenses related to the Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Scaling up: from research to impact
  • Showcasing results and demonstrating impact
  • Keeping science relevant and future focused
  • Sustaining the business of farming
  • Ensuring better rural futures

Presentations during Thematic Sessions›

The final day of GCARD3 opened with two more keynote speeches from young agriculturalists: Maria Letizia (Coldiretti) on Innovation in a Sustainable Manner: Young farmers reinventing farming in Europe; and Tshepiso Marumo (Zone of Live Pty. Ltd.) on Beekeeping as an Emerging Business in Botswana.

Daily summaries of GCARD3 Global Event ›

GCARD3 Global Event Summary Report ›

Outcome of GCARD3 Global Event

The GCARD3 Outcomes Statement is a direct product of the dialogue and dicussions at the GCARD 3 Global Event. Through the joint development of the GCARD3 Outcomes Statement the GCARD3 participants have pledged to work together through the a set of Collective Actions over the next three years to GCARD4, to address common challenges in agricultural and rural development. 

GCARD3 Outcomes Statement presentation›

Help communities improve their preparedness, and envision desired future scenarios for their comprehensive rural development, through grass-root foresight mechanisms, centered on sustainable smallholder family farms and farm-based enterprises and which leave no one behind. This will be done by:

  • Establishing foresight platforms that bring together farmers (via farmer organizations in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Asia/Caucasus, Latin America, Europe, the Mediterranean basin and the NENA regions) with research and innovation actors from around the world to develop and select preferred future scenarios 
  • Collectively plan, design and implement initiatives to change the present to shape/achieve the desired  future

Identify, prioritize and develop the research and innovation capacities and actions required at all levels to meet future needs. This will be accomplished through:

  • Creating one thousand additional Ph Ds per year in next-generation, future-relevant agricultural research,
  • Undertaking higher-educational reform  across a 100 universities over five continents that combines multi-disciplinary training in agriculture-related sciences, with skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, interpersonal relations and team-building, and
  • Continuing professional development in agriculture for innovation and entrepreneurship in agricultural practices, products and services

Advocate together for increased, sustained and more effective financial and human investments and capacities in multi-stakeholder demand-driven processes of agri-food research and innovation, to achieve greater development impact at scale through:

  • Developing a culture of impact with a focus on alignment/ coordination of partners’ actions, embedded in the national system and owned by national governments and with a common methodology and tool (accountability framework) for measuring impact at scale.
  • Lobbying for increased investment in research and impact at scale with a focus on building capacity of young scientists (and women), farmers and entrepreneurs and undertaking policy research on investments in research and innovation.
  • Embedding research into innovation systems thereby moving towards an interactive innovation model with a focus on brokerage to support research prioritization including research on extension, with links to markets and industrialization.

Develop a common public evidence base and the new mechanisms required for demonstrating diverse impacts and returns on investment in national and international agri-food research and innovation.

  • Build on the lessons learned from past successes and failures, on analytical and conceptual frameworks, and implementation at different spatial and temporal scales to contribute to measuring progress towards the SDGs.
  • Contribute to national measurements of progress towards SDGs, and build national capacity for integrated measurements, engaging with diverse stakeholder groups including farmers, youth and women.
  • Create a platform to harmonize agriculture related indicators linked to the SDGs, in order to improve collective action for impact.

Embed agri-food research and innovation in national development processes, and foster equitable partnership between farming/food value chains, research, extension, education and business development, drawing on agri-food based research and innovation. The collective actions will:

  • Cluster small farmers for greater participation in R&D and stronger links to finance and markets
  • Build value chain partnerships for success while recognizing traditional farming methods and practices
  • Develop evidence-based and demand driven data to enrich policy and attract finance
  • Protect small farmers’ access to resources and build their business skills
  • Open up innovation platforms for farmers to provide access to new technologies: make farming a business
  • Address public health and nutrition in agricultural research and innovation program

GCARD3 Global Event

  • Birchwood Hotel and Conference Center
Organizer: GFAR, CGIAR and Agriculture Research Council of South Africa
Tuesday, 5 April, 2016