Stories tagged: Farming First

Farming First & CGIAR Side Event at EU Development Days 2016

15th June 2016, 4pm – 5.15pm

Room D5, Tour & Taxis

Brussels, Belgium

Join Farming First and CGIAR at our interactive session “Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals with Science” at the EU Development Days!

Our distinguished panel – moderated by BBC science & environment journalist Mark Kinver – will tell stories of science changing farmers’ lives Pecha Kucha style. Discussing 20 images for just 20 seconds each, our speakers will stimulate debate on how science can be harnessed to achieve many of the interlinked Sustainable Development Goals, including ending hunger, combatting climate change and empowering women.


Our Panel

Frank Rijsberman, CEO, CGIAR ConsortiumRijsberman2colorcropped

CGIAR is the largest agri-food research partnership in the world, made-up of 15 research centers with 10,000 staff in over 70 countries. Dr. Rijsberman leads the implementation of CGIAR’s vision through a portfolio of impact focused research programs dedicated to increasing food and nutrition security, reducing rural poverty, and protecting the environment.

I.Rae photoIsabella Rae, Head of Policy & Research, Self Help Africa

Dr. Rae has been working in the NGO sector for the past eight years, prior to which she worked with FAO, Bioversity International and WFP. She has experience in the design, elaboration and management of technical assistance projects, with particular emphasis on Central and Western Africa. She has published in areas of women rights, food security and governance, and the right to food.

Sona Ebai CroppedSona Ebai, Chief of Party, World Cocoa Foundation

Sona Ebai has spent the last 25 years in integrated rural regional development. Through his role at the World Cocoa Foundation/African Cocoa Initiative (WCF/ACI), he has been instrumental in fostering effective public and private sector models to support sustainable productivity and improved food security on diversified cocoa farms in West and Central Africa.

Kampmann, Willi - 3Willi Kampmann, Head of International Affairs, German Farmers’ Association (DBV)

Willi Kampmanm has worked with the German Farmers’ Association for 35 years and has headed the Brussels office since 2000, concentrating on European and international agricultural policy. He was responsible for creating the House of German Agriculture and Food Industry, together with  seven other German agricultural associations.

Our Moderator

160420 MKV colourMark Kinver, BBC Science & Environment Reporter

Mark Kinver has been reporting on science and environment issues for BBC News for ten years. As moderator for this event, Mark will help our panelists delve deeper into the issues raised, and let you have your say on the topics.



The European Development Days (EDD) are Europe’s leading forum on development and international cooperation. Organised by the European Commission, the forum brings the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Farming First’s 15 Heroes of 2015

2015 is drawing to a close – and what better way to celebrate this milestone year for development, than by highlighting the work of some of Farming First’s most hardworking supporters and partners! Take a tour through our activities this past year and help us celebrate some of our heroes.

SONY DSC1. Mark Rosegrant at The Economist Feeding the World Conference

We kicked off the year at The Economist’s Feeding the World conference in Amsterdam, where we acted as their media partner for the fourth consecutive year. Mark Rosegrant, Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute, spoke the rewards of technology and showcased some future solutions. He summarised findings from a report released last year that tested the effectiveness of 11 technologies under climate change scenarios. Watch his interview with Farming First TV to find out more, and click here to read our summary blog of The Economist event. Continue reading

Agriculture Well Represented in Post-2015 Negotiations Final Text

The negotiations for post-2015 development agenda and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is coming to a close. Two key documents are almost finalised, the Post 2015 Development Agenda outcome document, now entitled “Transforming Our World”, complemented by the Addis Ababa Agenda, that was adopted earlier in July 2015.

Farming First is 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 “Transforming Our World” 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.

Continue reading

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed wins World Food Prize

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh, social enterprise visionary and founder of BRAC was announced yesterday as the 2015 winner of the World Food Prize, the most prominent global award for individuals whose breakthrough achievements alleviate hunger and promote global food security.

The World Food Prize Foundation – with whom Farming First partnering to make the announcement public – is awarding the $250,000 prize to Sir Fazle for the progress he has made in improving people’s lives, alleviating hunger, and providing pathways out of poverty for up to 150 million people across Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 18.40.25BRAC, which was formally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, has been hailed as the most effective anti-poverty organization in the world. Today BRAC operates 18 financially and socially profitable enterprises, across health, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, education, green energy, printing and retail sectors, and has been responsible for extraordinary advancements in the poultry, seed, and dairy industries in Bangladesh and other countries.

As part of its partnership, Farming First has been working with the World Food Prize team to promote Sir Fazle’s selection and celebrate BRAC’s outstanding contribution to global food security in the media. We are happy to have secured a number of articles in a variety of publications. Read more about Sir Fazle’s work and how BRAC has helped lead a generation out of poverty:

The Guardian – BRAC’s Sir Fazle Hasan Abed wins 2015 World Food Prize for reducing poverty

New York Times – Bangladesh based poverty group founder wins World Food Prize

BBC OnlineAnti-poverty pioneer wins 2015 World Food Prize

USA Today World Food Prize goes to founder of anti-poverty group

Thomson Reuters Prize for man who lead a generation out of poverty in Bangladesh

Sir Fazle will be presented with the prestigious World Food Prize at a three-day symposium, known as the Borlaug Dialogue, which will take place in Des Moines, Iowa in October. Stay tuned to the Farming First blog and social media channels, as we will be hosting guest blogs and a Twitter Chat involving BRAC and the World Food Prize Foundation.

13 Highlights from Farming First’s 2013 Activity

2013 has proved to be another action packed year for Farming First, as we further our goal of getting sustainable agriculture to the top of the global agenda. As we near the end of the year, ‘Farming First co-chairs Morgane Danielou and Robert Hunter take a look back and count down the top 13 moments of 2013.

#13 Farming First and The Economist teamed up for Feeding the World Summit

For the second successful year, Farming First partnered with The Economist at its “Feeding the World” conference, which was held in Amsterdam in January, 2013.

The Economist Feeding the World

The Economist Feeding the World

The summit debated issues regarding ‘smart partnerships’, building successful collaborations, empowering smallholders, the role of science and technology and tackling food waste. Nutrition emerged as a key area that must be addressed and that is swiftly moving up the food security agenda.

Farming First live tweeted the event and filmed a series of exclusive interviews with delegates, which can be seen on Farming First TV.

#12 Farming First TV reached nearly 130,000 views

Farming First’s YouTube Channel is home to 168 videos, from short animated films to interviews with experts on sustainable agriculture and food and nutrition security. Highlights this year have included Farming First’s award-winning animation “The Story of Agriculture and the Green Economy” reaching 40,000 views.


“The Story of Agriculture and the Green Economy” is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, French and Mandarin.

#11 Farming First welcomed four new supporters 

Farming First is a unique coalition that welcomes members from all along the agricultural value chain – from smallholder farmers, to scientists, engineers, NGOs and large industries. 2013 has seen four new supporters join our cause: two international non-profits dedicated to ending poverty through agriculture; IDE and One Acre Fund, consultancy Africa Practice and public-private partnership facilitator Prorustica.

If your organisation is interested in becoming a Farming First supporter, please contact 

#10 Farming First launched LinkedIn discussion group

172 professionals in the field of sustainable agriculture and food security are now active members of the Farming First discussion group on LinkedIn. Recent discussions have been sparked by brand new guest blogs on the Farming First website from leading experts in the field, such as Rachel Kyte at the World Bank and Achim Dobermann of the International Rice Research Institute. Topics have included how to attract youth to agriculture, the role of agribusiness and what comes next for climate-smart agriculture. Not yet a member? You can join the Farming First group here.

Farming First LinkedIn

#9 Farming First and FAO infographic “The Female Face of Farming” led debate once again on International Women’s Day 

On March 8th, a broad range of organisations chose Farming First’s infographic ‘The Female Face of Farming” to illustrate the need for women to be empowered in their roles as farmers, to have the support, the rights and access to inputs they require to feed their families and the world.

Female Face of Farming Tweet

Female Face of Farming tweet

Female Face of Farming

#8 Farming First reached over 20,000 followers on Twitter 

From live tweeting events to breaking news, to sharing exclusive interviews and guest blog posts, the Farming First Twitter account has continued to grow and now has over 23,000 loyal followers. Thank you for all the follows, mentions, retweets and interactions!

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.32.53

 #7 Farming First co-hosted a farmer roundtable at the World Food Prize

On 16th October, Farming First co-hosted a farmer roundtable event at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa. The event featured five farmers from around the world (Africa, Europe, South Asia and South America), who shared their thoughts on the on-farm impact of climate change and discussed how new agricultural technologies and farm management practices were helping to improve the resilience and reliability of their farms in the future.

Read their opinions and watch a video from the day here. 

#6 Farming First launched new website

Farming First’s website has become a hub of information on that proves the agriculture’s vast contribution to global issues, and helps people to communicate these issues effectively. This year it was reorganised under five key issues: sustainable agriculture, gender, food & nutrition security, water and climate change. This has made it even easier for those interested in these topics to access a wealth of information, from infographics, to animated videos, factsheets and policy papers. Over 100 case studies are also available on the website, as well as an active blog and events calendar. To receive all Farming First news and materials – why not sign up to the monthly newsletter? 

#5 Farming First presented at social media workshop at the Global Landscape Forum

Farming First was invited to give a presentation at the Global Landscape Forum’s Social Media Boot camp, which was held in the opening days of COP19. The presentation demonstrated to attendees how to make engaging content, using its “Guide to the UNFCCC Negotiations on Agriculture” as an example of best practice. The guide follows the crucial steps of having key messages, backed up with evidence, supported by third party endorsements to create a call to action.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.48.23

#4 Farming First showed strong support for agriculture  at COP19

Farming First’s “Guide to the UNFCCC Negotiations on Agriculture” proved to be an invaluable tool for helping delegates communicate agriculture’s potential role to mitigate climate change to  negotiators, as explained in this article in Outreach magazine:

Farming First was also a vocal supporter of the World Farmers’ Organisation’s disappointment at the lack of progress for agriculture at COP19, which was voiced through two articles:

Read: “Why aren’t UN negotiators listening to 1.4 billion farmers?” by Robert Carlson on Reuters Alertnet

Read “Why Have Farmers Yet Again Been Forgotten at the UN Climate Talks?” by Anette Friis on the Huffington Post

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.51.31

#3 Farming First put nutrition initiatives on the map

The importance of nutrition initiatives to solve “hidden hunger” has crept up the agenda recently – with institutions and governments recognising it is not simply a greater amount of food that must be made available to the world’s poorest people, but a great amount of healthy food, that will give them the nutrients they need to grow strong and productive, and ward off disease.

To mirror this paradigm shift, Farming First has added nutrition initiatives to its “Global Food Security Initiatives Map” to showcase the organisations and partnerships making a difference in this field all over the world. Explore the interactive map and learn more here.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.55.07

#2 received nearly 50,000 visitors

Following a redesign, the launch of guest blogs from prominent figures in sustainable agriculture and food security, as well as the launch of a brand new infographic, has enjoyed a very active year – with almost 50,000 people visiting the website and viewing over 116,000 pages of content!

#1 The Future of Food and Farming Infographic: Putting agriculture on the post-2015 agenda 

The Post-2015 agenda is responsible for forming Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Farming First held a high level luncheon alongside the first Open Working Group at the United Nations in New York, to discuss ways in which agriculture can be included in these new SDGs.

In addition, Farming First produced an interactive infographic, that turned the whole post-2015 agenda on its head, and instead looked ahead to when the SDGs are likely to end, to see what the future could look like if agriculture is not addressed in the SDGs. The infographic, entitled “Food and Farming in 2030” explores how food, people and the planet will be affected.

 Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.59.50

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 10.59.38

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 11.00.10

The infographic received over 1,000 views on launch day – the second highest hit rate for of all time! The graphics were also retweeted over 1,000 times. This piece by Farming First Co-Chair Morgane Danielou on Reuters Alertnet, sums up the issue: For sustainable growth, count on agriculture. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported Farming First’s activity this year!

A new programme could mitigate climate change and adapt food production for the future. Tracy Gerstle reports.

Blog originally posted on the Global Food Security blog

Tracy Gerstle

Climate change is at the top of the United Nations agenda from 26 Nov to 7 Dec in negotiations at the Eighteenth Conference of the Parties (COP18) in Doha, Qatar.   Since 1995, the annual climate talks of theUN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have served as an important platform to focus global attention on identifying and starting to address the causes and impacts of climate change.

Increasingly in the talks, countries are recognizing the unique role of agriculture in the global climate change response as well as the importance of securing future food security and the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of farming families, despite climate-induced pressures on productivity. In addition, agriculture can be part of the climate solution providing mitigation co-benefits.

Progress on addressing agriculture is slowed by the lack of a cohesive approach and under representation of the sector in the talks. Currently, agriculture is tangentially discussed in various processes including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), the Nairobi Work Programme and the Adaptation Fund.

Countries should agree at COP18 to set up a work programme on agriculture under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technology Advice(SBSTA) to put a cohesive approach to agriculture on the road map of the UNFCCC.

A SBSTA work programme would facilitate better understanding and use of scientific and technological methodologies needed to underpin action and international support for agricultural mitigation and adaptation. It would also help to identify win-wins and trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation strategies.

For instance, there is a growing body of research on farming practices and technologies that can assist farmers to adapt, but this knowledge needs to be synthesized, identifying proven methods and knowledge gaps—particularly as the potential solutions are very contextual.  For example, no-till agriculture (no ploughing) has been hailed by many as a good means of assisting farmers to conserve moisture in soil and therefore reducing water requirements while conserving organic matter which leads to healthier andmore productive soils. However, no-till is not suitable for all agro-environments and indeed in countries such as Malawi , India and Zambia recent research has shown that no-till actually reduces productivity.

A work programme that assesses each strategy and determines its viability in different contexts would go a long way to safeguard our global food supply amidst amounting climate pressures. It would also open up opportunities for increased private investments in the means for adaptation and mitigation, as the Green Climate Fund and the Technology Executive Committee will look to this process for recommendations and a base of public-private partnerships on which to build.

The agricultural community convenes

Farmers around the world are experiencing the impacts of climate change today. Productivity is shifting due to changing and more volatile weather conditions and temperatures. By 2050, if farmers are not assisted to meet these changes, agriculture yields will decrease with impacts projected to be the most severe in Africa and South Asia, with productivity decreasing by 15% and 18% (PDF), respectively.

We urgently need to safeguard our food supply and to ensure continued growth in economies where agriculture is an important sector. In addition, while prioritizing the adaptation challenges, we should not overlook agriculture’s significant as part of the solution to climate change. For example, every dollar ($1 USD) invested in agriculture results in 68kgC fewer emissions (PDF).

This is the fifth occasion on which the agriculture community will convene on the sidelines of the meeting to call attention to the sector. In Doha, farmers, scientists, businesses and NGOs will unite at Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day (ALL-5) to share solutions for protecting our food supply and the livelihoods of farmers across the globe in the face of climate change.

At the opening of ALL-5, a new infographic produced by Farming First, in partnership with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCFAS), was launched.  Entitled ‘The Story of Agriculture and Climate Change: The Road We’ve Travelled’, it highlights significant events leading up discussions on the future of agriculture at COP18, including the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the first discussions of the impacts of climate change on agriculture in IPCC studies in 2001, the initiation of REDD in 2005 and the first ever agriculture day in 2009.

Nineteen of the of the world’s leading agricultural organisations, including the World Farmers organisation (WF), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres, have issued a joint call-to-action to urge negotiators to approve this SBSTA programme.

The momentum for this programme to be approved is there. Let’s make 2012 the year that a cohesive, holistic approach to agriculture is put on the UNFCCC’s road map.

To find out more visit the Global Food Security Blog

About Tracy Gerstle

Tracy is the Director for Global Public Policy at CropLife International, the trade association for the plant sciences industry. Tracy leads industry engagement on issues in food security, climate change and sustainability to the United Nations, the OECD and the CGIAR. Prior to joining CropLife, she served for over a decade with leading international NGOs including Mercy Corps and CARE as an advisor on economic and rural development, working in over 25 countries. Tracy also served as the lead facilitator on the Economic Recovery Standards for the Sphere Project and the SEEP Network, and has assisted a number of multinationals looking at social, economic, environmental issues in food and agricultural supply chains, including Cargill, the Starbucks Coffee Company, and Kraft.