Stories tagged: AWARD

Farming First Celebrates Double Win at CorpComms Awards 2016

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Farming First scooped the award for “Best Communications by a Not for Profit Organisation” at the Corporate Communications award ceremony in London last night. Our 2015 campaign “The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals” triumphed over stiff competition from ZSL London Zoo, Age UK and Scope. It also came highly commended in the “Best International Campaign” category, making it a double win for Farming First.

“The Story of Agriculture and Development Goals” was a year-long campaign that sought to ensure agriculture and sustainable farming issues were well represented in the text of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Farming First supporters went on three missions to the United Nations in New York, to meet with and present to Post-2015 negotiators, as well as taking part in side events to demonstrate how agriculture can be considered “a common thread” throughout the SDGs. An interactive toolkit was also launched, to explain the impact that investing in agriculture can have on a range of goals beyond Goal Two to end hunger, such as health, economic growth, gender equality and combatting climate change.

When the SDGs came into force in September 2015, Farming First was delighted to see many of the key issues it has been advocating for during this process, such as food security, rural development, and innovation well represented in the final text. These topics now feature six, two and 13 times respectively throughout the document. The Farming First supporter delegation also encouraged inclusion of improved access for farmers to extension services and training, access to inputs and investment in research and in infrastructure which are now specifically mentioned under Goal 2.

Farming First’s call to recognise agriculture as a common thread thought the SDGs has been well heeded. Equal access to resources for women farmers is mentioned in goal five on gender equality, and post-harvest losses are mentioned as target 12.3 in the goal relating to sustainable consumption and production.

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To celebrate the adoption of the SDGs, Farming First supporters submitted stories from farmers around the world that they work with, who shared their hopes for what the SDGs would achieve, and how they intended to implement them. You can read the full stories on our “SDGs and Me” page.

Farming First would like to thank all its supporters that contributed to this award-winning campaign!

Farming First’s “The Story of Agriculture & SDGs” Shortlisted for Industry Award

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Farming First’s 2015 campaign “The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals” has been shortlisted for a Gold EMEA SABRE Award under the “associations” category.

The shortlist was selected from among more than 2,400 entries in this year’s competition, which recognizes Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement. The campaigns were evaluated by a jury of more than 40 industry leaders.

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Click here to explore our interactive essay on why agriculture is the common thread in the SDGs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farming First’s campaign to showcase agriculture’s central role to many of the SDGs, beyond goal two of ending hunger, comprised of the interactive essay “The Story of Agriculture and the Sustainable Development Goals“, an expert blog series and a series of in-person advocacy tours with negotiators involved in the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations at the United Nations in New York. Agriculture was well-represented in the final outcome document, thanks to the had work of Farming First advocates and colleagues involved in this process.

The winner will be announced at the SABRE Awards ceremony in Berlin on 25th May 2016.

 

African Scientists Brief MPs on Women’s Role in Delivering Effective Solutions for Agricultural Development

On the eve of International Women’s Day and against the backdrop of deepening food crises across sub-Saharan Africa, two leading African women agricultural scientists joined U.K. experts at a lunchtime parliamentary briefing of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development today on “Effective Solutions for Agricultural Development through Empowered African Women Scientists.”

An estimated 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are hungry, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The urgency to boost food production is clear, and ensuring the continent’s food security will require mobilizing the best minds from every discipline, especially women, who are the backbone of African agriculture. However, although the majority of those who produce, process, and market Africa’s food are women, only one in four (25%) agricultural researchers is female.  Even fewer, one in seven (14%), hold leadership positions in African agricultural research institutions.

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) is addressing that gap by building the capacity of African women scientists conducting pro-poor agricultural research.

Dr. Sheila Ommeh, a Kenyan winner of an AWARD Fellowship and a molecular geneticist whose research focuses on breeding disease-resistant indigenous chickens, commented: “Seventy-six percent of all Kenyan rural households are engaged in some kind of poultry rearing. It’s critical to food security. However, their flocks—and their livelihoods—are endangered by bird flu and Newcastle disease. I’m researching these diseases and am trying to make the ‘chicken agenda’ a priority for research institutions and governments.”

AWARD fellow Christine Mukantwali, a senior scientist with the Rwanda Agriculture Board, is also concerned about the poor. She is researching pineapple fruit processing and preservation methods.  “In Rwanda, post-harvest losses of fruits and vegetables stand at 40 to 80 percent,” she said. “This is unacceptable in a country where 78 percent of the rural population suffers from limited or no access to food and 45 percent of children under the age of five experience moderate chronic malnutrition, according to World Food Programme reports.”

Pineapple harvests spoil due to lack of storage facilities and processing equipment, as well as processors’ limited technical skills and knowledge about market requirements, says Munkantwali. Through her research, she is helping small-scale pineapple processors to increase the shelf life of their products and extend their markets regionally.

“Women researchers such as Ommeh and Mukantwali are critical to solving Africa’s food challenges, but they need support to get their research results into the hands of those who need it most—smallholder farmers,” says AWARD Director Vicki Wilde.

“If women are to advance in their careers and be fully represented at decision-making levels, then they need to be equipped with both the hard scientific skills and the so-called soft skills of leadership and negotiation that are not usually taught in the university classroom or modeled in the lab,” said Wilde. “AWARD equips women scientists with these competencies, and we are seeing dramatic changes. For example, from our first two rounds of AWARD fellows, 120 women, almost one-quarter of them have been promoted and another quarter have completed their Master’s or PhDs. Almost half have received other awards: recognitions, fellowships, scholarships, and grants.”

The panel, moderated by Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander, also included Dr. Camilla Toulmin, Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Joseph Cerrell, Director of the European Office, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Monique Mikhail, Sustainable Agriculture Policy Adviser with Oxfam GB.

Sir Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development at Imperial College London and leader of the agricultural advocacy group, Agriculture for Impact, facilitated a discussion session. He commented, “Closing the gender gap in African agriculture could be the missing link in addressing Africa’s food security concerns. These talented women are conducting critical research and have presented today not just the challenges, but solutions.”

“Effective Solutions for Agricultural Development through Empowered African Women Scientists”

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, leading African scientists from the AWARD Fellowship programme will brief London MPs  on “Effective Solutions for Agricultural Development through Empowered African Women Scientists”.

The urgency to boost food production in Africa is clear. However, although the majority of those who produce, process, and market Africa’s food are women, only one in four (25%) agricultural researchers is female.  Even fewer, one in seven (14%), hold leadership positions in African agricultural research institutions.

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) is addressing that gap by building the capacity of African women scientists conducting pro‐poor agricultural research.