RIO+20 and Sustainable Agriculture

RIO+20 and Sustainable Agriculture

11 June 2012. In the run-up to RIO+20, the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), CGIAR, the global agricultural research partnership, issued a call to action. In this seven-point plan, CGIAR outlines how agricultural research for development can contribute to a more sustainable, food-secure future.

The conference recognizes the need for agricultural research for development: The Zero Draft of the conference’s outcome document calls on “all states to prioritize sustainable intensification of food production through increased investment in local food production, improved access to local and global agri-food markets, and reduced waste throughout the supply chain, with special attention to women, smallholders, youth, and indigenous farmers.

The preparations for Rio+20 have highlighted seven areas that need priority attention. CGIAR’s main focus, “food security and sustainable agriculture,” is one of those seven areas.

Bruce Campbell Ph.D. Director, CGIAR Research Progamme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, interviewed  Dr. Frank Rijsberman, the newly appointed CEO of the CGIAR Consortium, to find out how agriculture and the environment are now “best friends.“Community-designed programs”… focusing on small holder farmers?

Yes, contrary to the focus of the big agro-business, CGIAR concentrates on supporting and strengthening local production groups and small holders. Marginalized food producers, particularly women, need to be included more in the bid for sustainable development. They should be empowered to increase their production and marketing of a wide diversity of adapted and nutritious crops, many of which have been long-neglected by agricultural research. This empowerment can be achieved through a combination of basic agronomic research, strengthened land and water rights, increased access to markets, finance and insurance. While CGIAR concentrates on local research, we enhance local capacity — where possible — through community-based farmer organizations.


More than 500 on-site side events organized by Governments, Major Groups, Organizations from the UN system and other International Organizations will take place in RioCentro during Prepcom III (13-15 June), the Sustainable Development Dialogue Days (16-19 June) and the Summit (20-22 June).

Following side events target [African] agriculture and environment:

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