CGIAR emphasizes need for research, partnerships and funding at G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting

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Addressing international delegates at the recent G20 Agricultural Ministers’ Meeting, CGIAR Managing Director of Global Engagement and Innovation Kundhavi Kadiresan highlighted CGIAR’s commitment to providing evidence-based science for the holistic transformation of food systems and CGIAR’s contributions to the upcoming United Nations Food System Summit (UNFSS) and Climate Change Conference (COP26).

“We stand ready to support a robust, evidence-based science-policy dialogue. And we are committed to accelerating the development and deployment of tools, technologies, and science-based innovations through a new ambitious research agenda,” Kadiresan said. 

In a session focused on research as a driving source for sustainability, Kadiresan highlighted three related areas that will be needed to achieve sustainable food systems and how CGIAR is contributing to each. The first area is recognizing the importance of research and innovation, which is needed to create science-based innovations and uptake at scale. The second area is the need for global and local partnerships to share knowledge and scale innovations.  

“We don’t want to do research for research’s sake. That’s why CGIAR is changing to link more effectively the public and private sector, civil society and academia to ensure cutting edge research generates knowledge, develops innovations and technologies, and adoption takes place,” Kadiresan said. “These partnerships are prone to fail if they don’t align strongly with demand from the ground and prioritize the needs of small-scale farmers, women, youth and improve the livelihoods of their communities.” 

The third area is an increase in agriculture research investment. Kadiresan said data from the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (CoSAI), in a report carried out CGIAR, reveals an investment gap of $15.3 billion from current levels. Additionally, $4 billion is urgently needed to address hunger and malnutrition around the world.  

In addition to inviting CGIAR, the world’s largest publicly-funded global agriculture research organization, the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting was also attended by representatives from international organizations, including the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, and the International Labour Organization (ILO). 

The meeting concluded with the approval and signing of the Florence Sustainability Charter, which reaffirms the G20 Ministers’ commitment to achieving food security in a framework with the three dimensions of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. The G20 Ministers also confirmed their intention to reach zero hunger, which was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Header photo: Kundhavi Kadiresan, Managing Director, Global Engagement and Innovation, CGIAR, appears at the 2021 G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in Florence. Photo by G20.

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