The Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program director, Tom Randolph, yesterday, 8 October 2012, attended the day-long 45th anniversary celebration in Nairobi for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
The celebration was hosted by Ruben Echeverria, CIAT director general and Robin Buruchara, CIAT regional director. The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) director general, Jimmy Smith, also participated, as well as CIAT colleague, Brigitte Maass. Randolph served as a panelist in the afternoon discussion on ‘Strengthening South – South Partnerships in Africa’s Development’.
The panel session explored the role and challenges of partnerships and, more specifically, lessons from experiences with south-to-south partnerships. In his remarks, Randolph highlighted the changing needs and nature of partnerships since the CGIAR centres, including CIAT, were established in the 1960s and 1970s. He highlighted the current challenge the Livestock and Fish program faces in working closely with development actors to identify and test solutions for pro-poor transformation of animal-source food value chains, which the development actors can then take to scale in large interventions with continued research support. This topic of ‘mobilizing AR4D partnerships to improve access to critical animal-source foods’ is the focus of a GCARD pre-meeting in Uruguay on 27 October 2012.
During the subsequent discussions, working toward a common objective emerged as a critical factor for the success of such partnerships.
Other items if this event, included key presentations and poster displays by various agricultural personalities.
‘Throughout the year, CIAT will celebrate past achievements, while also looking ahead to new challenges. A central issue we will address is how research can enhance the eco-efficiency of agriculture, so that it offers more for people while taking less from the land, as climate change, rising demand for food, and other forces increase the already huge pressure on tropical agroecosystems.’
The forum was an occasion to reflect on the achievements and the lessons learned in the past thirty years of CIAT’s work in Africa, it was also an opportunity to look forward and focus on persistent challenges and new threats, and the opportunities to address them.
CIAT is one of the partners working with ILRI on the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program. It plays a key role in the feeds component of the program particularly focused on integrating tropical forages to permit intensification of livestock and aquaculture systems. CIAT is also contributing to the various value chains of the program as well as leading the implementation of a dairy value chain in Nicaragua.
The celebration, one of several events throughout this year to celebrate the anniversary, was held at the Windsor Hotel in Nairobi and attended by representatives of research partners, donors and development partners, CGIAR centers, government and non-governmental organizations and CIAT staff.
Read more about the anniversary here: CIAT at 45: Turning Our Eco-efficiency Vision into Reality