The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) has launched its new web site. The site contains an extensive document repository, featuring over 1,000 publications from GFAR and it's Regional Fora dealing with important areas of focus such as both new and learned methods of research, innovation, regional research priorities and more. Members of “e-GFAR” are able to participate in Forum debates, post news items and also submit reports, papers and other information regarding agricultural research on this site.
This publication is comprised of three papers. The first, by A. Sonnino and co-authors, discusses some approaches used in impact assessment of innovations and presents a general overview of the literature about the impacts of non-transgenic biotechnologies. The second, by Z. Dhlamini and co-authors, surveys the extent of micropropagation application in Gabon, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The third, by P. Warren and co-authors, reports the findings of two field studies, on micropropagation of banana in Uganda and of sweetpotato in Zimbabwe.
FAO moderated e-mail conference entitled "The role of agricultural biotechnologies for production of bioenergy in developing countries" took place from 10 November to 14 December 2008. Major topics of discussion included applications of biotechnologies in jatropha; the potential benefits for small-scale farmers of applying biotechnologies for bioenergy production; biogas production in developing countries; and production of enzymes for efficient bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to liquid biofuels. Of the different biotechnologies, most attention was paid to applications of genetic modification, molecular markers and tissue culture in crops for biofuel purposes.
22 March is World Water Day. Its international observance is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), on behalf of the 24 Agencies and Programme Members of UN-Water, the theme of World Water Day for 2007 was “Coping with water scarcity”. The day provided an opportunity to reflect on the challenges posed by the unsustainable increase in water use and its degradation across the world and it also served as a spur to action.
The background document for the FAO e-mail conference entitled "The role of agricultural biotechnologies for production of bioenergy in developing countries" is now available. The 22-page document gives an overview of the current status regarding bioenergy, focusing on first- and second-generation liquid biofuels, including the reasons for the major current focus on liquid biofuels as well as current concerns about them.
The purpose of this publication was to identify “good practices” within different agricultural extension and advisory service institutions that have used new agricultural innovations, in order to improve rural livelihoods and, to educate farmers to use sustainable natural resource management practices in different countries. The publication reviews the four major objectives of extension systems in the agricultural development process: 1) technology dissemination; 2) human capital development; 3) building social capital and 4) educating farmers to manage natural resources sustainably.
This document represents a collaborative effort by the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Regional Forums to agree on a common policy for advocacy on Information and Communication Management. The recognition of knowledge as a critical resource for practising efficient farming and developing agriculture makes sharing and exchange of knowledge globally vital for agricultural development. Since agricultural research is a major source of new agricultural knowledge, this is a key strategic area of focus and intervention by GFAR whose mandate is to promote and facilitate agricultural research for development (ARD).
As one of its main activities, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) actively promotes, advocates and enables the sharing of agriculture-related information and knowledge. The current implementation of the Web Ring on EGFAR (GFAR’s webspace at www.egfar.org) gives access to GFAR stakeholders’ information resources in different ways: through a custom full-text search on partner websites; by harvesting news from several partner organizations; through advanced searches on partner databases in those cases where agreement on protocols and standards has been reached.
The FAO Research and Technology Paper 9, entitled "Glossary of Biotechnology for Food and Agriculture”, is a revised, augmented version of the "Glossary of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering", published by FAO in 1999 and co-authored by A. Zaid, H.G. Hughes, E. Porceddu and F. Nicholas.
In 2001, the process of revising the Glossary was undertaken to update the definitions of this rapidly evolving field and to enrich the number of terms defined. It now includes about 450 new terms, about 100 old terms have been deleted and it contains a total of 3,196 terms and related definitions.
Assessment of National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems in CEMAC countries and strategies on how to strengthen capacity for the dissemination of agricultural knowledge and technologies
This publication examines a project for the Communauté économique et monétaire de l’Afrique centrale (CEMAC), the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa. The project aims to assist the Executive Secretariat of CEMAC in drafting a development plan for a sustainable network of knowledge transfer and agricultural technologies generated by research.