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International Centre for Research and Training on Seabuckthorn - Initiatives (Page 2)

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International Centre for Research and Training on Seabuckthorn - Initiatives
701 18
Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20433, USA
Tel.: +1 202 4738951
Fax: 4738110
See also
for FAO's
databases and relevant activities.
Global Forum on Agricultural Research
Global Forum on Agricultural Research
The Global Forum on Agricultural
Research was officially founded in 1996.
Activities have been initiated in 1999.
GFAR aims to promote a global agri-
cultural research system, relying on
cost-effective partnerships and strategic
alliances. Its stakeholders comprise do-
nors, the private sector, farmers' organi-
zations, NGOs, national and interna-
tional agricultural research institutes,
and national agricultural research sys-
tems (NARS). GFAR operates largely
through regional and sub-regional asso-
ciations or fora of the main geographical
areas of the world: Asia-Pacific, West
Asia and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Af-
rica, and Latin America and the Carib-
bean. A Central and Eastern Europe
and Central Asia grouping appears to be
One of GFAR's priority lines of work
is referred to as Global Networks for
Commodity Chains. The concept of
commodity chains refers to research on
all aspects from production to consump-
tion, adding new dimensions to tradi-
tional research and involving the full
range of partners and stakeholders.
Further, this is meant to include par-
ticularly commodities outside the CGIAR
mandate. A distinction is made between
two main categories, i.e., major com-
modity crops (e.g. plantation crops) and
neglected crops which have mainly local
or regional but no global importance.
The significance of these crops is seen
primarily in their direct contribution to
food security, poverty alleviation and
rural economies. In addition, such crops
can contribute to the sustainability of
agro-ecosystems and to the preserva-
tion of biodiversity. Global programmes
should be developed on selected com-
modity chains, based on priorities ex-
pressed by NARS regional fora. For an
orphan commodity undertaking such as
ICRTS, GFAR offers potentially impor-
tant possibilities to engage in partner-
ships with a large number of institutions
and organizations representing many
different groups of stakeholders.
The ICRTS Secretariat has estab-
lished contact with the NARS Secretar-
iat and with two of GFAR's regional fora,
i.e., the Asia-Pacific Association of Agri-
cultural Research Institutes (APAARI)
and the Association of Agricultural Re-
search Institutions in the Near East and
North Africa (AARINENA). As ICRTS
has already several member countries
in Asia (China, India, Nepal, and Paki-
stan), priority is currently placed on es-
tablishing new links in the West Asia
and Near East region. Initial activities
include the exploration of interest in
countries with suitable agro-ecological
zones, i.e., Iran, Syria, and Turkey, in
seabuckthorn and in co-operation with
ICRTS. Pervasive problems of the re-
gion include a fragile resource base and
persistent poverty. All of the above
mentioned three countries have signifi-
cant temperate and sub-tropical cool
dryland (arid and semi-arid) and high-
land areas and common problems of
land degradation. Issues include diver-
sification of the agricultural base, and
land rehabilitation. Further research pri-
orities in this region, which point to a
possible role for seabuckthorn, include
rangeland rehabilitation, management of
salt-affected soils, agroforestry, and
natural resource management. In a first
step, traditional uses of seabuckthorn in
these countries should be investigated

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