There is a significant amount of new activity within Agrinatura, and the aim of the GA is to engage our members on forthcoming initiatives. Please consider joining us for a discussion on strategy, implementation, and future collaboration. Your participation is greatly appreciated.
Other than regular Business meeting, this year GA will consist of 2 Workshops focused on Youth inclusion and Agrinatura projects development. Followed by 1st Agrinatura Conference: Bridging the Gap between Dialogue and Action through Agricultural Research for Development, slated for the first day 18th May 2022. (Call for contribution)
Second day, 19th May, 2022 of the GA will be dedicated to the Workshops and Interaction with the European Commission and Partners through workshop sessions: “Working together towards Food Systems Transformation” and “Strengthening research and education capacities through international partnerships”
There are two other meetings in conjunction with the GA:
Preliminary Agenda and Registration can be found here.
As always, we look forward to seeing our old friends and any new representatives from our present members. Do join us!
More details will be updated regularly.
The General Assembly 2022 held as hybrid meeting face to face at the Business School of University College Cork (UCC), Ireland and via Microsoft TEAMS. Opening session started by Welcoming words from President Stephen Onakuse. In his opening speech he acknowledges the opportunity to meet face to face after the COVID 19 break, and importance of Green Deal and Food System Transformation in the context of Ukrainian war. This gives more importance than ever to the agriculture institution and united voice of European most prestigious Higher Education institution focusing on food systems and production, agriculture and climate change. Morning session continued by welcoming of Prof. Thia Hennessy, Dean of Business school, University College Cork. She welcomed Agrinatura General Assembly at the university and acknowledge the work of Agrinatura.
Agrinatura member representatives received in accordance with Agrinatura statutes, 45 days prior the General Assembly meeting all necessary documents for voting together with convocation to GA 2022. No comments and objections were raised before the GA to the documents. Following documents were provided: General Assembly Minutes 2021, Financial report 2021, Budget 2022, Application letter from the Polytechnique University of Valenica.
Voting was conducted electronically during the meeting using QR code or websites with link to Google Forms (results of voting attached). The results of the voting were approved by a simple majority of the votes cast. Results of the voting were presented at the meeting.
This Workshop, facilitated by the leader of Agrinatura Strategy Committee (ASC), Hanneke Lam was mainly to introduce the work of ASC, aim of the Strategy and its components. As well as the future involvement and contribution of Agrinatura members. Members of the ASC are Hanneke Lam (Agrinatura EEIG, NRI, group leader), Sara Baumgart (VCA4D, Belgium), Simone Pfeiffer (UGOG, Germany) and Tereza Slamova (Agrinatura Association, CZU, secretary). Main aims of the strategy are support in setting direction for development of Agrinatura over next 5 years, better serving members’ interests and increased visibility / awareness of Agrinatura for members and partners, and potential new members. The strategy will be driven by consultation with the members, partners, and stakeholders. Workplans should be developed jointly with the working groups towards the main objectives of Agrinatura. This strategy is planned to be in place by GA 2023.
More details in the presentation available in Intranet.
This year General Assembly meeting hosted Workshop done by Youth Professionals in Agriculture for Development (YPARD) titled: “From Bench to Boardroom: Active Inclusion of Youth in Food Systems”.
First the YPARD organisation and structure was introduced. Further, presentation introducing the topic of the Workshop was presented posing main questions of: “What can organisations do to include youth in decision-making positions?” And “What can youth bring to the table?”. Followed the presentation, participants were divided into the breakout groups to discussed proposed questions:
Each group then summarized their results of discussion and shared with other participants.
Although generally youth is considered as an asset and universities claim to incorporate them in the decision-making processes and leading roles, there is still big space for improvement and members should advocate for not only showing the youth as a part of their institutions, inviting them to the meetings but really give them the opportunity to speak up and be part of various processes and decision making.
Morning programme started by welcoming words by the Head of College, Science, Engineering and Food Science at University College Cork, Prof Sarah Culloty. She was highlighting in her speech the necessity and opportunity to reconnect and reunite to strengthen our partnerships as well as friendships. She acknowledge the topic of the Agrinatura General Assembly: “Bridging the gap between Dialogue and Action through Agricultural Research for Development” as timely. “War in Ukraine challenged not only us but the Agriculture for Development. Prof. Culloty also mentioned the importance of engagement of youth and increase public awareness about this critical decade for climate action.
“The role of universities is tremendous, universities have the opportunity to share new knowledge, tools and abilities to help solve the issue.”
Miguel de Porras (FiBL, Belgium) facilitated the introduction of Open Policy Dialogue session, followed by the presentation of the Agrinatura Position Paper: “Agrinatura’s role in supporting innovation for food systems transformation” by Ioannis Dimitriou (SLU, Sweden) on behalf of the Advocacy Working Group. Work of group leader Carolin Callenius was acknowledged. Followed by the presentation, the panellist who received the position paper in advance, were invited to give their opinion on it. Panel was composed from following partners and stakeholders: Asst. Prof. Dr. Chutima Tantikitti – Advisor to the Dean, Faculty of Natural Resources, Prince of Songkhla University (PSU), Thailand; Dr. Guy Faure – Senior Policy Officer at European Commission in chargé of Research and Innovation, DG INTPA, F3; Genna Tesdall – Director, Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), Germany; Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio – Director, The Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), Philippines; Dr. Hans Joerg Lutzeyer – Research Programme Officer, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation; Mr. Marc Duponcel – Head of Research Sector, Research and Innovation, European Commission, DG AGRI; Mr. Christophe Larose – Head of Sector, European Commission in chargé of Research and Innovation, DG INTPA, F3.
“We cannot be naïve; we are not working in the sterile environment”
Main direction of the discussion was towards the comparison with partners outside Europe, how to make our ideas into action, and role of Agrinatura in implementation and building of partnerships.
“Added value is not implementing, and project, but mobilising the expertise, partners with other countries”
One of the main take-home message and resonant message was to think of building NETWORK WITHIN NETWORK to not “reinvent the wheel”.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Chutima Tantikitti presented the PISAI project lessons learnt and experience from collaboration with Agrinatura and potential for future collaboration. During the lifetime of the project, Agrinatura within this project, contributed to the development of Module 2 (Environment/Ecosystem for Sustainable Agricultural Production) and taking part in its field study in Thailand, Chair the Quality Assurance Board and participated to the 1st International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Aquaculture. As a potential future collaboration, she mentioned PSU can act as an extension node for connecting AGRINATURA’s network with Thai HEIs. Being partner for future ERASMUS+ projects, joint summer schools between partner universities, joint short term training for students on Tropical Agriculture (can be a non-degree programme), double degree programme with institutions under AGRINATURA’s network, hosting visiting professors 1) face-to-face interaction at PSU and the network 2) on-line courses/ training courses, student exchange programme (mobilities) through Erasmus+ or university self-funding schemes, joint research with interested AGRINATURA’s members, hosting sabbatical leave for professors/scientists, as a venue for joint conference on agriculture and natural resource management.
Dr. Glenn Gregorio presented Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), its history, structure and new five-year plan ATTAIN (Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation). Dr. Gregorio highlighted similarities in Agrinatura direction and SEARCA plan. Further, he explained what University Consortium (UC) is, its history and goals and members. He also mentioned the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Agrinatura and UC in 2015. As an example of the cooperation between Agrinatura, UC and SEARCA Dr. Gregorio presented project Master of Science in Food Security and Climate Change (MS FSCC). Its aim was to develop and pilot test joint degree and conduct Asia-Europe mobilities of students and staff. For future collaboration he highlighted the project proposal submitted in February (PMC FSCC) were Agrinatura is involved. Its goal is to deliver learner-cantered courses linked to digital badges to address food security and climate change.
“With the complexity of our challenges in agriculture and rural development, what we need are partnerships to accelerate transformation through agricultural innovation.”
Sponsored by: Part of Fáilte Ireland, Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority and Cork University Business School.