The first International Innovation Symposium for Family Farmers was held in Rome on November 21-23, 2018. FAC was invited to join in the global dialogue to give voice the agripreneurs in more than 60 countries committed to create a sustainable food value chain.
As noted by the Chair’s summary report:
The FAO Secretariat estimates that there were over 540 participants, including 286 delegates from 92 member countries and the European Union as well as representatives of intergovernmental organizations, private sector entities, civil society organizations, academia/research organizations and producer organizations/cooperatives.
The specific objectives of the symposium were to:
- Serve as a global knowledge sharing and partnership platform to better understand the potential of innovation in agriculture to address the Sustainable Development Goals, with a special focus on supporting smallholder and family farmers;
- Increase understanding of the drivers of innovation and the main constraints;
- Propose processes, pathways and interventions needed to unlock the potential of innovation inagriculture and scaling up inclusive innovations;
- Celebrate inspiring success stories of innovation and innovators in sustainable agriculture; and,
- Act as a catalyst for boosting partnerships as well as public and private investments to fosterand scale up agricultural innovation.
Discussions at the Symposium suggest that there is no universal definition for agricultural innovation. To enable common understanding it is important to note the operating definition that was used: “Agricultural innovation is the process whereby individuals or organizations bring new or existing products, processes or ways of organisation into use for the first time in a specific context in order to increase effectiveness, competitiveness, resilience to shocks or environmental sustainability and thereby contribute to food security and nutrition, economic development or sustainable natural resource management”.
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