June Update from GCHERA President

President John Kennelly reported to GCHERA members the recent activities of GCHERA:

  • GCHERA World Agriculture Prize 2017,
  • GCHERA World Conference 2017 – October 28-30 Nanjing,
  • GCHERA General Assembly 2017 – October 28 Nanjing,
  • Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR),
  • IICA-GFAR meeting – February 2017, Rome

GCHERA World Agriculture Prize 2017 – Award Ceremomny October 28, Nanjing

The 2017 GCHERA World Agriculture (WAP) Laureate will be announced on October 28th, 2017 at Nanjing Agricultural University. This is the 5th time that the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize will be awarded. Previous recipients have been

  • Professor Ronnie Coffman, Cornell University, 2013
  • Professor Paul Vlek, Bonn University, 2014
  • Professor R. Paul Singh, UC Davis, 2015
  • Professor Lorne Babiuk, University of Alberta, 2016

The GCHERA WAP recognises individuals who have made outstanding contributions, over a lifetime, to university education, research and outreach. The GCHERA Prize comes with a US $50,000 award and a specially commissioned trophy.

GCHERA World Conference 2017 – October 28-30, Nanjing Agricultural University

Each year GCHERA hosts a World Conference. The 2017 GCHERA World Conference will take place immediately after the 2017 GCHERA WAP Laureate award ceremony. For the past several years the focus of the Conference has been undergraduate education, with GCHERA members coming together to share best practices in education across our global membership.

This year the theme of the World Conference is Global Food Security and Food Safety: The Role of Universities. The focus of the Conference is to explore the role and contribution of agricultural and life science universities in research, education, outreach and engagement in policymaking to address the global challenge of food security and safety.  In particular, we would like to explore how universities are addressing the issues of food security and food safety by engaging in strategic education, research, effective outreach in multi-stakeholder programs and policy determination at the local, regional and global levels. The outcome of the conference will be a summary of actions as guidance for university and faculty senior managers.

The 2017 World Conference was supported by an International Advisory Committee. GCHERA truly appreciates the following members for their contributions in shaping the program and identifying an impressive group of international keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Ekwamu Adipala, RUFORUM
  • Dr. Tiny Van Boekel, Wageningen University Research
  • Dr. Shenggen Fan, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Dr. John Roy Porter, Unversity of Copenhagen & Montpellier SupAgro
  • Dr. Lara Hanna Wakim, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
  • Dr. Guanghong Zhou, Nanjing Agricultural University

Please see the GCHERA website for preliminary program details. Registration information will be available in the near future.

GCHERA General Assembly 2017 – October 28, Nanjing Agricultural University

The annual meeting of GCHERA’s General Assembly will be held in conjunction with 2017 GCHERA WAP Announcement and the GCHERA World Conference. Current plans are to hold the meeting on the afternoon of October 28, with the possibility of a concluding session on the morning of October 30 to discuss action items arising from the World Conference as well as implementation of the Kellogg project.

Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)

GCHERA represents Global Higher Education on the GFAR Steering Committee. In February 2017, I represented GCHERA at the GFAR Steering Committee meeting in Rome. The focus of the meeting was to set the agenda for the role of GFAR in helping meet the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Through the meeting, Steering Committee members agreed the key areas of focus in the GFAR Medium-Term Plan and set out ideas and alternatives on the forms of partnership and means of communication needed for collective action and advocacy in these focal areas.

In June 2017, Dr. Ian Maw represented GCHERA at the GFAR Steering Committee meeting. Ian reported a very successful meeting; further details will follow.

GFAR provides an opportunity for GCHERA to connect with national, regional and global bodies involved in the broad areas of agricultural research and education.  GFAR currently has about 450 self-declared partners. GFAR has updated its governance structure over the past 18 months. The GFAR Steering Committee now comprises 34 elected representatives, from across 13 sectors involved in agricultural research and innovation at international, regional and local levels: farmers and agricultural workers, civil society organizations, private sector, women’s organizations, youth organizations, international public research organizations, regional fora of public agricultural research and policy bodies, advanced research institutions/G20, rural advisory services, higher education, donors and investors, consumer organizations and GFAR’s facilitating UN agencies.

IICA-GFAR meeting – February 10, 2017, Rome

A special one-day workshop entitled “Mobilizing agri-food research and innovation for sustainable development in the Americas” was held after the GFAR meeting involving the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and GFAR. The IICA membership includes 34 countries in the Americas (North and South America). IICA’s mandate is “to encourage, promote and support our Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.”

Dr. Victor Villalobos, Director General of IICA, and Dr. Audia Barnett, representing IICA Canada, participated in the meeting. Dr. Villalobos was very keen to explore opportunities to expand the role of IICA in tertiary education. We discussed a number of possibilities in areas of staff and student exchange as well as potentially partnering with government in supporting student scholarships. These discussions have continued over the past few months as we have worked to identify win-win collaborative opportunities.

Posted on 28 Jun 2017