Agrinatura met at the annual General Assembly 2020 this time online!

  • 04th June 2020
  • by secretary
Agrinatura News

Agrinatura met at the annual General Assembly 2020 this time online.


This year’s GA was kindly to be hosted by the University College Cork in Ireland. Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic COVID-19, it has been moved to an online platform via Microsoft TEAMS.
Although there were concerns about attending this Online meeting Great atmosphere was within the whole meeting with an amazing attendance of 41 representatives of 25 member institutions from 15 countries!
Despite the fact that we had to squeeze our traditional two-day meeting within two hours, all business matters for the successful completion of 2019 were discussed and there was still time for discussion.


You can find the presentation from the meeting Here.


The meeting began with a Welcome word from President Carolyn Glynn, emphasizing the role of agriculture and the food system in the light of current events. Another item on the agenda was the presentation of the results of the election of the Financial Report for 2019, the Budget for 2020, the Minutes from the last GA 2019 in Gembloux and changes in membership. We welcomed new members in the Agrinatura network – l’Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and University Polytechnic of Madrid (UPM).


Directors Activity Report

The next item on the agenda was the director’s activities report for 2019, Carolin Callenius presented the results achieved last year. Among other points,  high participation of the Board members on the meetings and number of virtual meetings held were highlighted. Strengthening of partnership by signing Memoranda of Understanding with FAO and RUFORUM as well as establish close dialogue with DG DEVCO and other joint cooperation with EFARD, YPARD, GCHERA, ICA and others was mentioned. Further activities in various projects were mentioned such as ERASMUS+ projects two finalised within year 2019 and implemented by Agrinatura members and other ongoing projects such as  MSFSCC, SIMPLE, MasterACT and others. Various activities were also done in EEIG development projects VCA4D and Burundi. President Carolyn Glynn also attended preparation workshop CAADP under DeSIRA project. Dissemination and communication was successfully done by many members of the board as well as by other members of Agrinatura Association.

New Members

Further presentation of the new members was done by representatives Philippe Baret (UCL) and José Maria Diaz Puente (UPM). By joining, Agrinatura is enriched by new networks of researchers helping build more solid and bigger knowledge base platform. We welcome sincerely our new members!


Working Groups

Following session was focused on activities of Working Groups in past year. Each group presented their achievements and offer members to join their circle. Although each working group has their own specific objective all groups work in synergies and complement each other. Advocacy working group led by Carolin Callenius (UHOH) focused mainly on development of Advocacy strategy by surveying members and organising workshop to discuss all aspects of this strategy. Research working group led by Carolyn Glynn (SLU) developed in cooperation with librarians from Swedish Agriculture University (SLU) interactive map of publications developed by member universities with focus on Global South. Communication working group presented various activities helping with dissemination of Agrinatura activities and increase visibility of Agrinatura as “brand”. Last but not least Project working group led by Petra Chaloupková (CZU) shared information about achievements with submission of new project proposals and successful ending of various projects.


Farm to Fork Strategy within Green Deal 

Next topic discussed was incorporation of Agrinatura to consultations with DG DEVCO on Farm to Fork Strategy within Green Deal communication. Agrinatura will develop Position paper on Farm to Fork strategy and wanted to use our knowledge base platform to build on. For that reason Working group developed short questionnaire to find out e.g.: “How the pandemic is changing our partnership cooperation and food systems”. Stephen Onakuse (UCC) while presenting stressed out that: “if we will not make noise we wouldn’t be heard”. Once the situation will allow us,

Agrinatura would like to organise Face to Face meeting to discuss of the communication and Farm to Fork strategy. More news will follow.

Discussion and Wrap Up

By the end of the meeting there was a fruitful discussion among members related to the topics previously presented and new hot topic were shared. The whole meeting was finished by wrap up given by Vice-president Tim Chancellor (NRI) he stressed out that it was fortunate that Board of Directors decided while ago to held Board meetings online which might help us to be prepared for current situation and not to lose the connection. He thanked for the large turnout we had during this virtual meeting and interest and commitment towards Agrinatura. He welcomed sincerely new members “it great that we continue to attract new members, we can extend our skill range, our capacities and also geographical coverage”. He points out that there is a large range of opportunities within our network and encourage the members to search for the opportunities of their interest.

We look forward to seeing everyone in person at the General Assembly in 2021, thanks to University College Cork (UCC) for extending the invitation. But we also do hope that there will be other opportunities to see each other.

We thank deeply to all our members for their contribution, interaction and commitment to Agrinatura!