Photo: IPCC Chair Dr. Rajendra Pachauri delivers a keynote address at the CGIAR Development Dialogues. Kate Evans/CIFOR
NEW YORK, USA (25th September 2014) – Nigeria’s agriculture minister today issued an impassioned plea to governments and the agriculture research community “not to abandon farmers to climate change”, with the head of a UN specialized agency emphasizing the need for research in tackling rural poverty and climate change.
“Agricultural research is one of our most powerful allies in the battle against poverty,” Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, told the 300 academics, policymakers and scientists who gathered at Columbia University today for the inaugural CGIAR Development Dialogues.
The CGIAR Development Dialogues, convened to discuss the vital role of agriculture research in achieving climate change and sustainable development goals, opened with keynote addresses from President Nwanze, Nigerian agriculture minister Akinwumi Adesina, Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union, and Peruvian environment minister and UNFCCC COP20 president Manuel Pulgar-Vidal.
The event followed CGIAR’s announcement at the UN Climate Summit this week to dedicate at least 60 percent of its annual budget to climate-smart agriculture, benefiting half a billion farmers over 15 years. “There can be no sustainable development or halting the effects of climate change if we do not pay due attention to the billions of people engaged in agriculture that manage the world’s natural resources and produce the food our ever increasing population demands,” said Frank Rijsberman, Chief Executive Officer of the CGIAR Consortium. “Agriculture research is the backbone of sustainable development.”