First Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) of G20 countries

First Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) of G20 countries

24th to 27th September 2012. Guadalajara. Mexico. This meeting wa convened by the Mexican government as part of their role heading the Group of Twenty (G-20) this year.

The objectives of the first MACS were to:

  • inform stakeholders of existing global resources, programs and collaborative efforts for agricultural research that can help address food security challenges; 
  • identify, strengthen and compliment research priority areas for collective action in coherence with existing initiatives to sustainably intensify agricultural production, in order to meet increased and changing demand for healthy, safe and nutritious food whilst mitigating and adapting to climate change; 
  • identify avenues to better coordinate resources and existing initiatives in support of these priorities; 
  • establish baselines and track progress toward collective commitments and priorities; and 
  • Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA Chief Scientist 

    and Under Secretary for Research, 
    Education, and Economics

  • facilitate new partnerships on collaborative research in agriculture and food security

Prof. Jones (FARA) and Dr.Catherine Woteki (U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) delivered the key scene-setting presentations on establishing global agricultural research and development (AR&D) priorities. 

The meeting deliberated on establishing MACS Global Research Collaboration Platforms (GRCPs) to promote global collective action involving national agricultural research for development strategies and capacities of the G20 countries. Four initial GRCPs were presented, including: 
  1. Access to scholarly publications and other technical documentation; 
  2. Access to germplasm collections and related information, as per international treaties to which countries are members, and in accordance with national legislation; 
  3. Access to genetic and genomic data, and establishment of public databases for agricultural research and development projects; and 
  4. Improving agricultural innovation (extension service and technology transfer) and agricultural statistics systems (information communication technology and market data).

The Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP), a G20 commitment in 2011, was formally launched by FAO. This platform aims to achieve greater coherence of capacity development and knowledge sharing for agriculture innovation to improve production and productivity in the tropics, with a particular focus on smallholders, under a multilateral and multi-sectorial approach.

The meeting reviewed the status and progress of Global Research Initiatives endorsed by the G20 and ongoing collaborative mechanisms including the CGIAR Research Programmes (CRPs) on Wheat, Maize, Rice and Livestock and Fish, as well as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. The Global Access to Technology for Development Foundation, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation presented programs for Public-Private Partnerships, across the entire value chain of agricultural products, as mechanisms to accelerate global agricultural innovation. 

The next meeting will be scheduled by the next President of the G20 (Russia).

Related blog post:

23/06/2012. G20 Mexico 2012 launched an innovative Fund to Boost Food Security and Farmer Livelihoods

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