Wecome to the GFAR Update! This is our first newsletter of the New Year, packed with news from GFAR Secretariat and Partners from 4th quarter 2018. You can also find selections from the latest Partner Spotlights, and upcoming events and opportunities.

But first, a personal message from Dr. Mark Holderness, whose term as GFAR Executive Secretary has ended on December 31st, in line with the GFAR Charter. Read his reflection on his 11 years of service and his wishes for the continuing work of GFAR:

Dear Colleagues, Partners, Friends and Family, 

My term as GFAR Executive Secretary has now come to an end, in line with the GFAR Charter. It has been an amazing journey and together we have really made a difference in transforming agri-food research and innovation to better meet the Sustainable Development Goals, with smallholder farmers and rural communities at the centre of such processes.

My heartfelt thanks to the wonderful Secretariat team; to all those who have been involved in GFAR's governance and management over the last decade; to FAO, IFAD, EU, CGIAR and our other funders for their invaluable support over the years; to the 620+ Partner organisations in GFAR, who have put their differences aside and worked together in such exciting new ways; and to my family for putting up with so much over the years. 

It's onto new things for me and seeking new challenges, but I certainly aim to take forward GFAR's vital principles into new forms and applications, wherever they may be needed. GFAR of course continues to go forward, with a new Executive Secretary now being recruited, a new phase of collective actions and as important a job to do as ever.

I wish you all every success in these endeavours.


Mark Holderness

Read more about Dr. Holderness' leadership of GFAR in the blog post below, and catch up on what GFAR and Partners have been doing. If you missed it, you can also check out the 2017 GFAR Annual Report HERE!

Achieving greater impact together

Dr. Mark Holderness’ term as Executive Secretary ended on December 31st, in line with the GFAR Charter. As GFAR Secretariat seeks to fill this role, we reflect on the contributions of Dr. Holderness to GFAR during his eleven years of...

We’re all in this together: Putting farmers and youth at the center of #AgInnovation

Agricultural innovation – Is it only about technology? Or can broadening participation be innovative in itself? Key takeaways from FAO’s International Symposium on Agricultural Innovation for Family Farmers resonate strongly with the Partners in GFAR: Innovation must be done by...

The Comprehensive Farmer: What can (s)he teach our students?

Dr. Iman El-Kaffass of GFAR Secretariat delivered a keynote speech to encourage participants at a conference of the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) to step back and see agriculture—as well as the farmer and student of agriculture—holistically.

Tapping the potential of Africa’s futures

In the September issue of the Journal of Futures Studies, Mr. Oluwabunmi (Bunmi) Ajilore of the GFAR Secretariat and his colleague, Dr. Oluwole A Fatunbi of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), published an article proposing “four future scenarios of African agricultural research and innovations derived from the combination of dominant drivers as conceived by African experts”.

GFAR Executive Secretary honoured by Tropical Agriculture Association

Mark Holderness was honoured at the recent Annual General Meeting of the Tropical Agriculture Association (TAA) in London, The TAA awarded Mark as ‘Development Agriculturalist of the Year, 2018’, recognising his outstanding contribution to agricultural development.

GFAR and CAAS commit to collaboration for improved innovation- and knowledge-sharing

Members of GFAR Secretariat were pleased to welcome yesterday a delegation from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) to formalize the basis for direct future partnership and collaboration between GFAR and CAAS.

Global Exploration and Practical Research Meet in Nuffield International Farming Scholars Program

Nuffield International Farming Scholars--a recent addition to the Partners in GFAR--strives to empower youth to turn their knowledge into opportunity and enterprise, and make a difference in the world of agriculture.

Want to run a mentoring program? This toolkit will show you how

A new mentoring toolkit developed as part of a GFAR Collective Action synthesises a decade of valuable learnings and resources, openly accessible for use by youth in agriculture!

Turning the spotlight on the next generation’s role in agriculture

FAO estimates that between 20 and 40 percent of global crop yields are reduced each year due to the damage wrought by plant pests and diseases. This is a staggering amount that has a real impact on our food and...

A program for youth by youth

Young people are instrumental in delivering on a sustainable future for agriculture. If we are to ensure this happens there needs to be opportunities for agricultural students and young professionals to be provided with the tools to become powerful, actionable...

We’re inspired by you: the next generation in agriculture!

YPARD, IAAS, CropLife and the University of Ghent share why they are so excited to help give youth in agriculture an opportunity to share and develop their innovations in sustainable crop protection. When we first sat down to talk about...

Nature at the Heart of Crop Protection -Partner Spotlight on CropLife International

Did you know that in one handful of soil there are more microbes than humans on planet earth? Microbes are tiny micro-organisms like viruses, bacteria or fungi, some of which can have pesticide-like qualities that can be used by all...

Technology to Revolutionize Agriculture – Partner Spotlight on CropLife International

What makes a rose red? It has a gene, which tells it which color to be. In a major scientific breakthrough 20 years ago, scientists discovered how to turn down the red gene and introduce a new blue gene, from...

How artificial intelligence can speed up innovation  

Computer technology has been around for decades, but the machines we use today are light years ahead of where we were even a decade ago. They are faster, more accurate and easier to use. This is cutting-edge technology. Machine learning...

GFAR: Executive Secretary

Expiry date: 2019-02-14 00:00:00
City: Rome
Countries: Italy
The Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR) is a multi-stakeholder movement made up of over 600 self- identifying...

Crawford Fund: 2019 Student Awards

Expiry date: 2019-03-29 00:00:00
Are you at university studying agriculture, animal production, fisheries, forestry, natural resource management or any area related to food and nutrition security?

TAA: Urgent Call for Volunteers

The Tropical Agriculture Association is seeking volunteers to help with planning and organising TAA’s 40th events.

IUPAC International Congress and Next Generation Programme

19/05/2019 to 24/05/2019
City: Ghent
Country: Belgium
Tthe 14th IUPAC International Congress of Crop Protection: “ Crop Protection: Education of the Future Generation ” is being held in Ghent, Belgium from 19-24 May 2019.

IUPAC Next Generation Programme

Expiry date: 2019-02-01 00:00:00
City: Ghent
Countries: Belgium
Do you have an innovation or an idea about sustainable crop protection? Why not apply to take part in the IUPAC Next Generation Programme?

VI Global Conference on Family Farming

25/03/2019 to 30/03/2019
City: Derio
Country: Spain
The VI Global Conference on Family Farming: "A Decade to improve the lives of Family Farmers" will be held 25-30 March 2019 in the city of Derio-Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain.

GFAR 2017 Annual Report

Publisher: GFAR
GFAR was initially conceived in 1996 as an association of public research organizations, working together with representatives of other stakeholders,...Read more and download

GFAR Impacts - 2008-2018

Publisher: GFAR
A brief review highlighting 10 years of GFAR's impacts in: Transforming AR4D systems Opening out agricultural data Advocating for Farmers’...Read more and download


Este material de capacitación y divulgación se deriva de las recomendaciones formuladas en la Primera Reunión Nacional de Derechos de...Read more and download


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