Montpellier, France — Key FO leaders from the MTCP2 platform consisting of AFA, LVC and other national FOs (FFF, WAMTI) participated in the “International Encounter on Family Farming and Research” last June 1-3, 2014 in Montpellier, France. MTCP2 FOs took the opportunity to meet with their counterparts from SFOAP and COPROFAM to consolidate their voices and come-up with common recommendations for research institutions. Among the key recommendations agreed by the group to be delivered by FO representative during the closing program are the following:
1. FOs should be given the primary role in identifying the priority research agenda by research institutes. Concretely, FOs should be given the opportunity to prioritize which of the many research agenda identified during the international encounter should be given priority.
2. FO calls for the democratization of agricultural research governance. Due to the important role of family farmers in ensuring food security, sustainable agricultural development amidst climate change and in poverty reduction, FOs should be given meaningful representation in the governance of agricultural research. FOs should be meaningfully engaged in defining priority agricultural research agenda responsive to their needs including decision-making on the allocation of resources/funds for agricultural research.
3. FOs should be considered as partners in the research process. Participatory approaches engaging the FOs at all levels should be incorporated, including the allocation of budget to farmer-led research program.
FO participants noted that agricultural research has been strongly influenced by private interest. Big corporations heavily influence the direction of agricultural research as well as extension services. Towards this end, FOs should be more vigilant in promoting and advocating their research agenda. This is one area where MTCP2 can be maximized particularly in strengthening the FO platform to engage in policy dialogues with governments and development partners including agricultural research institutions.
Contact: Ma. Elena V. Rebagay, email@example.com