CABI wins FAO Partnership Award 2024 in Recognition of Efforts Towards Sustainable Development

12 June 2024, US: CABI has won the FAO Partnership Award 2024 in recognition and reward of its noteworthy and effective partnerships that contribute to achieving sustainable development around the world.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) bestowed the honour on CABI and the Ulsan Metropolitan University to mark strong partnerships and cooperation with governments, the private sector, civil society, and academia.

Both CABI and Ulsan Metropolitan University, in South Korea, successfully demonstrated their efforts related to the FAO’s mandate which includes improving people’s lives through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Award was presented by the FAO’s Director-General Dr Qu Dongyu to Dr Janny Vos, CABI’s Partnerships Development Director, at a ceremony held at the FAO’s Headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Improve the livelihoods of 500 million smallholder farmers

The accolade comes after CABI, and the FAO, in October 2023 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together and improve the livelihoods of 500 million smallholder farmers while easing the global food crisis.

This partnership alone is seeing CABI and the FAO working more closely together to help strengthen plant production and protection for sustainable crop production systems. It is also helping to improve science and evidence-informed policy processes and science communication.

It builds upon CABI’s work in collaboration with its 48-Member Countries, donors and other partners, to help alleviate hunger, poverty, gender inequality, climate change, and diversity loss as outlined in its member-led Medium-Term Strategy 2023-2025.

One example of joint efforts between CABI and the FAO – to help smallholder farmers grow more and lose less to crop pests and diseases – is by supporting the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Agricultural Policy.

This is aimed at tackling prioritised crop pests in its 16 Member countries through building the knowledge and capacity on pest risk analysis and phytosanitary measures necessary to help ensure greater food security.

Revolutionizing agrifood systems

Dr Vos, in accepting the Award on behalf of CABI, said, “CABI is honoured to accept the FAO Partnerships Award which recognises the work of CABI and its Member Countries who play a key role in the creation and delivery of our mission and strategies in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“CABI has a century-long history of leveraging transformative partnerships in addressing the worsening global challenges that impact upon people and planet. Unfortunately, we are not on track to reduce hunger, poverty, gender inequality, climate change impacts and the loss of biodiversity.

“But there is hope, by sharing knowledge and expertise, we are stronger together in supporting smallholder farmers around the world so they can sustainably grow more food and lose less to crop pests and diseases despite the changing climate. As a result, their livelihoods are improved, and global food security is increased.”

The FAO Partnership Award 2024 was given to CABI during a special ceremony at the 175th session of the FAO Council.

Successful solutions and projects

Part of the criteria for the Award included demonstrating raised visibility of the problem of hunger and malnutrition, communicating complex agricultural and economic issues to the wider public, and promoted successful solutions and projects for improved food security and nutrition.

One global CABI-led project where CABI works in partnership in this regard is the PlantwisePlus programme. This initiative aims to reach 75 million smallholder farmers in 27 countries, providing them with access to the knowledge and skills they need to improve their production practices.

The work includes coordinating and strengthening systems for the detection and response to pest outbreaks, increasing awareness of, access to, and the use of affordable integrated pest management (IPM) solutions.

PlantwisePlus interventions include demand-led extension approaches contributing to improved plant health knowledge and management.

The introduction of plant clinic networks has led to increased yields and incomes, with plant clinic users adopting recommendations in 90% of cases and increasing their yields by more than 20% and their incomes by an average of 32%.

PlantwisePlus also seeks to enhance knowledge and uptake of IPM practices through responsive digital advisory tools such as those within the PlantwisePlus Toolkit. These include the CABI BioProtection Portal which provides information on locally registered biocontrol and biopesticide products to treat crop pests.

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