On 24-25 January 2017, CABI and the Syngenta foundation for sustainable agriculture hosted a conference at the Syngenta conference centre in Basel, Switzerland. The conference, entitled “The Future of Small Farms”, covered a broad range of topics aimed at assessing the state of agricultural policy in developing economies and emerging markets, and its influence on smallholder farmers around the world.
Contributed by Kritika Babbar, CABI India
Climate change has emerged as one of the most important environmental, social and economic issues today – especially for South Asia, which is highly impacted by these changes. In light of this, an international conference on Biodiversity, Climate Change Assessment and Impacts on Livelihood (ICBCL) was convened in Kathmandu from 10-12 January 2017. The conference was opened by Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the President of Nepal, and saw participation from eminent scientists, policy makers and development workers across the agriculture sector in South Asia.
At a meeting of the world’s top agricultural scientists in China, CABI’s Executive Director for Global Operations, Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, stressed the key role rural advisory services play in lifting agricultural communities out of poverty. As he pointed out, “Some of the most relevant and appropriate information isn’t high tech or innovative, but that doesn’t mean farmers know about it.”
The side event was co-organized by the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of Australia with a manifold success. The side event was held during the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS43) on 18 October 2016, and marked an important event for plant health awareness promotion. The side event was chaired and opened by Mr Jingyuan Xia, the IPPC Secretary; and five distinguished panelists convincingly presented the links between the plant health and food security, including Mr Kim Ritman (Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of Australia), Mr Washington Otieno (CABI), Maria Saponari (Italian National Research Council and CIHEAM), Mr Rui Cardoso Pereira (FAO/IAEA), and Mr Craig Fedchock (IPPC).
Contributed by Julien Dougoud, CABI Switzerland
Comptoir Suisse, one of French-speaking Switzerland’s most popular trade fairs, took place from 10th to 19th September in Lausanne. Over 106,000 visitors attended the fair, where about 450 exhibitors were presenting their goods and services to the Swiss public. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) showcased some of its development projects and CABI was invited to present its Plantwise programme with a live plant clinic demonstration.
Last week, CABI and Plantwise representatives attended the GODAN Summit in New York, the largest event ever planned for open data in agriculture and nutrition. It brought together key stakeholders from around the world to consider how open data can help achieve Zero Hunger – one of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2).
Speaking at the opening session of the Summit on the 15th September, CABI CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls, called for action. “As a GODAN partner and donor we know the importance of building core GODAN principles into what we do as well as what we say. We cannot remain still. Innovation is essential.”
Julie Flood, Phil Taylor and Claire Beverley attended the ‘Grand Challenges in Plant Pathology study group’ event at the Doctoral Training Centre, University of Oxford, 14-16 September. The event was the first of its kind, aiming to engage and inspire the next generation of plant pathologists.
The event was sponsored by the British Society of Plant Pathology (BSPP), the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and CABI, and saw 5 real problems posed by industry and non-academic organisations to a group of 27 young scientists, post-docs and graduate students, in all aspects of plant pathology and plant sciences.