UN food and agriculture agencies and other partners gather in Rome to share rural development and agriculture knowledge, experience and insights

Share FairThe Second Global AgriKnowledge Share Fair, hosted by IFAD, took place in Rome from 26 to 29 September 2011. It provided a forum for participants to learn and share knowledge, experience and innovations on emerging trends relating to agriculture, climate change, food security, mobile technology, social media and influence future rural development activities. More than 160 presenters from over 70 countries shared their creative and innovative experiences and knowledge.

Programme highlight and webcast schedule

26 September

  • 9:30CET Etienne Wenger, a globally recognized thought leader in the field of social learning theory, communities of practice and their application to organizations, will deliver a keynote address on "Communities of practice and strategic capabilities". 

27 September

  • 10:00CET IFAD President, Kanayo F. Nwanze, together with Ann Tutwiler, Deputy-Director-General, Knowledge, FAO;  Amir Abdulla, Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, WFP; and Emile Frison, Director-General of Bioversity International, will jointly open the Share Fair.
  • Rob Burnet who leads Well Told Story will deliver a keynote address immediately after the inaugural session on "How can we make agriculture more attractive to young people in Africa".
  • 11:30CET Livestock research for development: Shifting the paradigm
    Livestock research has undergone a transformation in recent years. As the environment becomes more complex, tackling future challenges will require similar innovation in livestock development. In this session, ILRI Director-General Carlos Seré, IFAD Livestock Advisor Antonio Rota and participants will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of recent livestock research, and explore key challenges for the future. You will have an opportunity to frame the CGIAR livestock research directions.
  • 14:00CET How can we make agricultural innovation systems work for smallholder producers
    In this interactive chat show, Llloyd le Page (CGIAR), Mark Holderness (FAO),  Jean-Francoise, Giovanetti (France), Rodney Cooke (IFAD) and Eija Pehu (World Bank) will sharpen participants' understanding of some recent initiatives that are helping shape the agricultural innovation systems agenda and their contribution to the development landscape – and rural smallholders, in particular. Resource persons will draw on recent G20 outcomes; progress on the GCARD process; the latest in knowledge products on AIS; reforms on the global agricultural research system; and efforts to build synergies between development partners' investments in agricultural research. It is expected that the Q&A session with the audience will tease out emerging opportunities for investment in the types of AIS that are increasingly development-led. The new knowledge and improved technologies that smallholders demand must take into account their multi-functional realities and the rich diversity of their farming/livelihood systems.
  • 16:00CET Michele Payn-Knoper will give a keynote address on "Empowerment through engagement: Connecting farmers globally".

28 September

  • 9:30CET Mark Davies, the CEO and Founder of Esoko, an agriculture-based mobile information service and consultancy based in Ghana and active in 15 African countries, will deliver a keynote address on "Demystifying public-private-partnership: An experience from the field". 
  • 11:00CET 21st century rural development projects and programmes: with our without mobile technology?
    The guests of this chat show will make the case that appropriate ICT (mobile and other technology) should be an integral part of rural development projects. They'll do a horizon scan of the variety of mobile technology tools currently in use, exploring drivers of success and their known limitations. At this session, you will learn the value of mobile technology for agricultural development and how this type of technology fosters communication, helps improve decision-making and ultimately positively impacts the livelihoods of smallholder producers. The discussants will share an inventory of currently available tools, applications and processes, and identify possibilities for replicating and scaling up successful programmes.
  • 14:00CET Making agricultural knowledge travel: making the outputs of innovation truly accessible
    The multi-partner Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD) initiative is working to make agricultural research information publicly accessible to all, by helping national organizations that already hold or create new knowledge facilitate access to it for others. A major challenge faced by the CIARD partners is how to advocate and empower the management of hundreds of national research organizations across the world to formulate and adopt enabling policies and incentives that enable their scientists to share the outputs of their research, making them truly accessible to all stakeholders so that they can be put into use. Help provide inputs to the CIARD Communication Strategy to ensure that advocacy efforts are relevant to making agriculture research results accessible.
  • 16:00CET Innovative waste management solutions for keeping our planet green
    This chats how will feature innovative examples of waste management. You will hear how in Armenia PET bottles and plastic bags are being recycled into cotton bags, how in Pakistan marble dust is transformed into fertilizer and how in Uganda water hyacinth is being converted to paper.

29 September

  • 9:00CET How good an ally are social media tools for 21st century development workers?
    Social media isn't just for chatting with your friends – it's also a helpful tool at work. This session will discuss the value of mixing social media tools, face-to-face interaction to raise awareness about rural development and agricultural issues, and how these tools can make our business more "user-friendly" and accessible to the public and help to keep agriculture on the international agenda.
  • 10:30CET Use of technology to facilitate information flow and collaboration
    Web technologies continuously develop. Currently much attention is being given to ways of creating links between web sites to allow information, especially data, from one site to be automatically accessed, interpreted and reused by other sites. At this session, participants will hear from pioneers of this technology in the development field. Practitioners will discuss the challenges in adapting linked open information to support information exchange and use at local level with the intention of mapping out strategies for interagency collaboration to achieve such an end.
  • 16:00CET Tune in for the closing ceremony

The Share Fair brand has a strong social media presence. IFAD webcasting facility allows you to interact using Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, social reporters will keep the outside world informed of the exciting events  through blogs, tweets, posting interviews and pictures on the following social media channels using #sfrome.