CGIAR Foresight Partnership Forum and Training: Informing Choices Today to Improve the Food Systems of Tomorrow

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Kathmandu, Nepal – April 16, 2024 – The Foresight Partnership Forum and Training, organized by the CGIAR Initiative on Foresight and the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), kicked off today in Kathmandu, Nepal. The four-day event brings together key Initiative partners from across Asia, Africa, and Latin America to share insights on the multifaceted challenges affecting food, land, and water systems and strengthen local foresight and policy modeling capacity.

Dr. Biswash Gauchan, Executive Director of IIDS, opened the event with a warm welcome, emphasizing the importance of collective action in addressing the intertwined challenges of food security, environmental sustainability, and socio-economic development. Dr. Channing Arndt, Senior Director for Transformation Strategies at CGIAR and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), echoed Dr. Gauchan’s sentiments, stressing the critical role of foresight in navigating the complex landscape of agricultural development amidst a changing climate. Dr. Shahidur Rashid, Director for South Asia, IFPRI, also welcomed the Forum participants and provided a historical context of the food security challenges in the region and how foresight analysis could help address them.

Dr. Govinda Prasad Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal, welcomed the Forum and its timeliness: “Building more resilient food systems has become even more relevant in the post-pandemic world due to increased vulnerabilities people are facing around the world and here in Nepal”. Discussing the food security challenges in Nepal, Secretary Sharma focused on availability, affordability, and accessibility issues and called for exploring “a workable multi-sectoral approach to ensure food and nutrition security along with broad-based economic development”. He said: “The CGIAR Initiative on Foresight, and this forum in particular, provide an excellent platform for addressing both challenges and opportunities of transforming food systems. Foresight analysis helps explore different scenarios of the future so that we who need to make policy and investment decisions today can better understand various options and hopefully pick the ones that best suit our particular needs and aspirations.”

In a world grappling with unprecedented environmental changes and socio-economic complexities, decision-makers face an uphill battle in balancing competing interests and ensuring sustainable progress. “The CGIAR Foresight Initiative – and this Foresight Partnership Forum in Nepal – aim to bridge this gap by sharing knowledge, fostering collaboration, and enhancing capacities in foresight methodologies to inform evidence-based policymaking,” said Keith Wiebe, Lead of the Foresight Initiative.

The Forum, bringing together over 70 participants from around the world, features regional and national perspectives from China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Nepal, highlighting diverse approaches to addressing local challenges and leveraging foresight for sustainable development.

In addition to fostering dialogue and knowledge exchange, the Forum sets the stage for the training session on the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT), scheduled for April 18th-19th. The training, facilitated by experts from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and other CGIAR Centers, will equip participants with practical skills and tools to analyze challenges and policy options for food system transformation. The training will help participants understand how IMPACT and its various components—from 0.5-degree-pixel-based biophysical information to subnational production regions to national and international market interactions—work together to produce detailed projections of the agrifood system at the national, regional and global levels.

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The CGIAR Initiative on Foresight, part of the CGIAR research portfolio, combines state-of-the-art analytics, innovative use of data, and close engagement with national, regional, and global partners to offer better insights into alternative transformation pathways that can inform choices and sharpen decision-making today, leading to more productive, sustainable, and inclusive food, land, and water systems in the future. For more information, please visit https://www.cgiar.org/initiative/foresight/.

CGIAR is the world’s largest global agricultural innovation network. CGIAR provides evidence to policy makers, innovation to partners, and new tools to harness the economic, environmental, and nutritional power of agriculture. To learn more, please visit https://www.cgiar.org/.

The Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS) is a Kathmandu-based think tank committed to evidence-based research for sustainable development in Nepal and South Asia. IIDS collaborates with the Nepali government, international organizations, and academic institutions. Over 40 years, it’s had a significant impact on policymaking and development outcomes in the country. IIDS also partnered with Kathmandu University to establish Nepal’s first graduate program in public policy and management. For more information, please visit https://www.iids.org.np/.


Media enquiries:

Evgeniya Anisimova, e.anisimova@cgiar.org (CGIAR Initiative on Foresight)

Anisha Mohan, a.mohan@cgiar.org (IFPRI South Asia)


Photo: Dr. Govinda Prasad Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal, providing opening remarks. Panel (left to right): Dr. Shahidur Rashid, Director for South Asia, IFPRI; Dr. Biswash Gauchan, Executive Director, IIDS; Dr. Channing Arndt, Senior Director for Transformation Strategies, CGIAR and IFPRI. (Photo credit: Evgeniya Anisimova/CGIAR)

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