|Shenggen Fan, Director General of IFPRI|
All three keynote speakers commended Ethiopia for its strong national leadership that has successfully committed to build a resilient agricultural system by dedicating 15% of the GDP to agriculture to obtain their collective vision to become a middle-income economy that is green and climate resilient. Ethiopia was able to survive the 2011, Horn of Africa crisis, which was the worst drought in 60 years. This was because of its commitment to raising the productivity of smallholder farmers, strengthening agricultural marketing systems and bringing more land under irrigation, ensuring to reduce land degradation and adopt soil and water conservation measures. Ethiopia was able to mitigate the impact of the drought on the rural poor through Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme. Ethiopia is amongst various countries that have made a serious commitment to build food and nutrition resilience and building on research based policies and these ongoing successes, Shenggen Fan, Director General of IFPRI, stressed that it is possible to end hunger by 2025, and the resilience approach “can help us tackle issues that run across the entire agriculture, food, nutrition and environmental system.”
On the side lines of the conference, the IFAD President also met with research centres that are a part of the Consortium Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIARs) to discuss ongoing partnership to increase food productivity in developing countries through the application of research-based technologies. The CGIAR centres expressed their growing relation with international organization such as IFAD, to ensure that research based policies and solutions/programmes to develop sustainable agricultural systems that are climate sensitive and develop food and nutrition security, are up scaled and implemented to create impacts to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor.
|Kanayo F Nwanze, the IFAD President, with high level representatives from research centres forming the Consortium Group on International Agricultural Research at the ILRI campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia|