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3rd Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3)
No One Left Behind: Agri–food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World

5-8 April 2016 | Boksburg, South Africa

Highlights for Thursday, 7 April 2016

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Daily Web CoverageAbout | 5 Apr | 6 Apr | 7 Apr | 8 Apr | Summary

Dancers perform a traditional Zulu dance to welcome participants to the ARC

On Thursday, GCARD3 participants relocated to the Agricultural Research Council South Africa (ARC) Roodeplaat Campus, for a special programme commemorating the ARC’s 25th anniversary.

Opening the event, Lindiwe Sibanda, Chief Executive, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) and Chair, ARC Day, thanked the GCARD3 hosts for the opportunity to learn more about the ARC’s journey, noting “their success is our success.” Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, Chair, ARC Council, welcomed delegates, noting the importance of the agricultural sector in Africa’s development.

Moshe Swartz, Acting Deputy Director-General, Department of Land Redistribution and Development, South Africa, emphasized that the country’s agrarian transformation strategy is firmly embedded in the constitution, and seeks to build vibrant and sustainable rural communities “who are the masters of their own destiny.” He described several joint initiatives with the ARC, including a project to recover hundreds of lost indigenous vegetables and medicinal plants, and the Agricultural Para-Professional Development Programme, which aims to contribute to “perpetual knowledge creation” for rural development.

In a set of presentations focusing on the evolution of the ARC, current and former programme staff highlighted some key successes and lessons learned since the establishment of the institute in 1992. Michiel Scholtz described support schemes for emerging farmers and noted a significant rise of the ARC-Animal Production Institute's scientific publications in recent years. Reflecting on the growth of the ARC-Field Crops division, Cobus le Roux explained the institute had managed to adapt to challenges by forging closer working relationships with government, industry, academic institutions, and value chains at large. He said this had enabled the ARC to secure the necessary financial security and prove its relevance within the agricultural sector. Outlining the ARC’s transition process from an idea to an internationally renowned institution, Org van Rensburg highlighted some successful research and development projects, including establishing high value crops in the Eastern Cape, developing plant breeding programmes and identifying disease resistant guava selections.

Summarizing some lessons learned over the past 25 years, Shadrack Moephuli, President and CEO, ARC, identified the ARC’s resilient approach as a key success factor in adapting to changing conditions and challenges to ensure impact and continued relevance over time.

In the afternoon, participants met in thematic parallel sessions highlighting diverse ARC research and development programmes in the areas of: animal and crop production for food security; sustainable use of natural resources; and agricultural technologies for market access among smallholder and commercial farmers. Presentations covered the ARC’s work in, among other areas, biotechnology and livestock genomics, vaccine development, rural enterprise development, socioeconomic impact analysis and farmer training and extension.

In a panel session focusing on agriculture science and technology policies, diverse South Africa-based organizations described key challenges and pathways to achieve sustainable development outcomes. In a second panel, six young female scientists involved in the Professional Development Programme described how the programme has contributed to their academic and professional development.

The day closed with site visits to ARC field project sites as well as to the ARC Biotechnology Platform located at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute campus.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage from GCARD3. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has produced a summary report from GCARD3, which is available in HTML and PDF formats.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Welcome and Morning Plenary

Participants at the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) campus for the start of plenary

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chief Executive, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, Chair of Council, ARC

Cobus Le Roux,
formerly ARC-Field Crops division

Michiel Scholtz,
Animal Production Institute, ARC

Moshe Swartz, Acting Deputy Director-General of Land Redistribution and Development, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform,
South Africa

Org van Rensburg, Research Institute Manager, ARC

Kingston Mashingaidze, Grain Crops Institute, ARC

Shadrack Moephuli, President and CEO, ARC

Norman Maiwashe, Animal Production Institute, ARC  

Participants during the session

Thematic Discussions

Participants attend one of four parallel thematic discussions in the afternoon

Matshidiso Matabane, ARC

Ian du Plooy, ARC

Petronella Chaminuka, ARC

David Turner, ARC

Litha Magingxa, ARC

Dan Motiang, ARC

Toi Tsilo, ARC

Afternoon Sessions

Professional Development Programme (PDP) panelists for the discussion on 'Development of Young Scientists in the ARC'

Makgomo Umlaw, ARC

Khanyisilwe Mdladla, PDP participant

Sithembile Olga Makina, PDP participant  

Christien Engelbrecht, PDP mentor

Panel speakers for the discussion on 'Agriculture Science and Technology Policies and Strategies for Sustainable Development'

Aggrey Mahanjana, National Emergent Red Meat Producers (NERPO)

Shadrack Moephuli,
President and CEO, ARC

Mbulaheni Mmbengwa, National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC)

ARC Exhibitions

Agricultural products on display

Local products on display

Posters around the exhibition area

In vitro potato seedlings grown from tissue samples

Seedlings grown from tissue samples in a laboratory

Different varieties of maize

Locally produced honey

Participants 'taste test' sweet potato chips

Livestock at the venue

Participants speak with exhibitors

Around the Venue

The ARC campus

Dancers perform a traditional Zulu dance to welcome participants to the ARC

Support staff from ARC assist with logistics

Participants meet informally

Moshe Swartz, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa, speaks with Michiel Scholtz, Animal Production Institute, ARC

Organizers meet between sessions

Assem Abuhatat, Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), and Mohammed Ajlouni, Association of
Agricultural Research Institutions in the
Near East and North Africa (AARINENA)

Video teams record proceedings throughout the day

Gala Dinner Hosted by ARC

Delegates attend the gala dinner hosted by the ARC

Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, FARA

Makgomo Umlaw, ARC

Ronald Ramabulana, CEO, NAMC

Daily Web CoverageAbout | 5 Apr | 6 Apr | 7 Apr | 8 Apr | Summary
Funding for coverage of GCARD3 has been provided by GFAR