Agrinatura announcement on Covid-19
We are all sharing a world that is very different than it was just a few weeks ago, and it’s changing by the day. Agrinatura is especially concerned about the situation in countries where public health systems have limited reach and where resources to strengthen them are scarce. Agrinatura is also very aware of the potential implications of the pandemic for the stability of food systems at global and local levels, and of the need to protect vulnerable groups in society who are most likely to be disadvantaged. Agrinatura-member organisations will be redoubling efforts to generate and disseminate knowledge that contributes to sustainable agriculture and food systems. “We will support our partners throughout the world, and especially in Africa, to address the challenges that will undoubtedly be magnified by the pandemic” said Carolyn Glynn, President of Agrinatura. As such, Agrinatura is participating in various fora, that are discussing and studying the effects of Covid-19 on food systems.
As a network of research and higher education organisations, Agrinatura is continuing to operate most of its normal services but staff are now working from their homes, in line with regulations introduced by their national governments. We have had to postpone certain activities, notably those which demanded travel. However, like many other organisations we are making effective use of online systems and discovering that we can accomplish much in this virtual mode. We also appreciate that access to such systems is not universal and that a lot needs to be done to reduce the digital divide that exists in many countries.
This year’s General Assembly, scheduled to take place in May at University College Cork in Ireland will not take place. Essential business such as approval of the financial accounts will be conducted electronically. A two-hour online workshop is planned for 20 May and, if circumstances permit, a physical meeting will be held in September in Prague, Czech Republic, linked to Tropentag 2020. Further details will follow soon. Meanwhile, we express our sincere gratitude to University College Cork staff for their hard work in preparing for the General Assembly and that they are inviting us to the Agrinatura General Assembly in May 2021!
The world after this global pandemic will probably not be the same. The members of Agrinatura will help through research and education in close collaboration with our partners to understand the effects of the pandemic and work on pathways to support the building of structures as a response to the upcoming challenges.
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Credit for text: Tim Chancellor and Agrinatura Advocacy Working Group