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1:30 pm

What future for small-scale farming: Inclusive transformation in challenging times – Part 1

Gilbert F. Houngbo, Janet Edeme, Milu Muyanga, Julio Berdegué, Jemimah Njuki, Avinash Kishore
Published By:
Hosted by:
Agricultural Policy Research in Africa
UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
International Fund for Agricultural Development
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About the webinar
The first session of the series covers emerging trends, challenges and opportunities for small-scale farming in the context of changing food systems, and the role of medium-scale farmers.

Small-scale farmers are critical to food systems across the world, yet many are among the poorest and most food-insecure people on the planet. Given the emerging impacts of climate change and COVID-19, the future of small-scale farming is vulnerable and requires urgent transformation. The Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC), the SDSN Sustainable Agriculture and Food SystemsForesight4Food and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are hosting a series of monthly e-Dialogues on ‘What future for small-scale farming?: Inclusive transformation in challenging times’.

These five sessions run from July through November 2020 and feature key themes on small-scale agriculture problems and solutions.

The first session Setting the Scene covers emerging trends, challenges and opportunities for small-scale farming in the context of changing food systems, and the role of medium-scale farmers. The format includes a panel session and a chance to ask questions and share your opinions.

T. Krupnik/CIMMYT
Focus Region:
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses

Gilbert F. Houngbo

President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 1 April 2017. Born and raised in rural Togo, Houngbo has spent more than 30 years working to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, with extensive experience in political affairs, international development, diplomacy and financial management. Prior to his appointment as IFAD President, Houngbo was the Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) where he led field operations in more than 100 countries and managed its bilateral and multilateral partnerships. He served as Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo from 2008 to 2012, where he introduced economic reforms and enhanced the rule of law and civil liberties. From 1996 to 2008, he undertook a number of roles at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) including Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary-General, Africa Regional Director, where he led poverty alleviation programmes in 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to this, he spent a decade in the private sector, including at Price Waterhouse, Canada, where he worked in Audit and Financial Advisory Services. Houngbo has a Matrîse en gestion des entreprises from the University of Lomé, Togo, and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées in Specialised Accounting from the University of Québec, Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants.

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Janet Edeme

Director, Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA), African Union Commission, and Chair of the APRA International Advisory Group

Janet Edeme is a Nigerian agricultural scientist and plant biologist, who works as the Director of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union Commission (AUC/DREA), based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Edeme’s work and research focuses on the field of agricultural science. She carried out post-doctoral research at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, Kenya. She lectured at her alma mater, the University of Ibadan. She has also served as a consultant to intentional organisations, including the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

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Milu Muyanga

Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University (MSU) and senior APRA researcher

Dr. Muyanga joined the department at Michigan State in May 2013 as an assistant professor focusing on international agricultural development. He is appointed in the fixed term system. Muyanga is involved in food policy research and outreach under the Guiding Investments in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification in Africa (GISAIA) grant as well as under the USAID-funded Tegemeo Agricultural Policy Research and Analysis (TAPRA II) project. His research focuses on agricultural land and water constraints; agricultural markets analysis; and poverty and inequality analysis. Milu is widely travelled and published on agricultural and resource economics. He was the first prize winner of the 2007 Global Development Network’s medal on the best research on household exposure to risk theme.


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Julio Berdegué

FAO Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean

Julio A. Berdegué has worked in rural development, inequality, rural employment and agri-food systems for more than three decades, developing an outstanding career as a researcher, with a strong emphasis on the promotion of territorial development and the fight against hunger and poverty. Since April 2017 he has been Assistant Director-General of FAO and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Jemimah Njuki

Senior Program Specialist at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Dr Jemimah Njuki is a Senior Program Officer at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) where she oversees a portfolio of agriculture and food security projects focused on reducing post-harvest losses, improving nutrition and engaging women and youth in agribusiness, as well as overseeing gender integration and women’s empowerment in agriculture projects in IDRC’s Agriculture and Food Security Program. For the last 15 years she has carried out gender research and managed women’s economic empowerment programs in Africa and Asia. She has published widely on gender and women’s economic empowerment specifically in the areas of gender and technology, women and markets, and women and livestock. She has recently co-edited two books; one on ‘Women and livestock in Eastern and Southern Africa’, and the other on ‘Transforming Gender and Food Systems in the Global South’. She is the founder and editor in chief of the Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security. Prior to joining IDRC, she started and led the Women in Agriculture Program (Pathways to empowerment) at CARE USA, working in 6 countries in Africa and Asia and headed the Gender and Impact Program at the International Livestock Research Institute. She is an Aspen New Voices 2017 Fellow and currently chairs the advisory committee of the African Women in Agriculture Research and Development (AWARD) and in the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification.

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Avinash Kishore

Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), South Asia

Avinash Kishore joined IFPRI in September 2012 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow after completing his PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University. He obtained Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University before joining the PhD program. Avinash studied at IRMA and worked for four years with International Water Management Institute (IWMI) before going to the US for higher studies.

Avinash is interested in agriculture, environment, and development economics. At IFPRI, he will work on projects that seek to bridge the gap between laboratories and farms in Indian agriculture using action research in collaboration with agricultural universities, agribusiness firms and farmers.

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