Digging Into DC Ag Week

Interested in agriculture, technology, or development? Live in the DC area? You’re in luck. Today kicks off International Agriculture Week—or “DC Ag Week”—a week full of international agricultural development conferences and events held in the nation’s capital.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s on the agenda:

June 1-2: Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) 51st Annual Conference

AIARD is an association of U.S.- and internationally-based members who work in global agricultural development and hunger alleviation. AIARD members include development professionals from universities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, government and donor agencies, and foundations. This year’s conference theme is “Fostering Innovation in International Agriculture and Rural Development.”

June 2: Facilitating Market-led Agricultural Growth Panel Discussion and Webinar

An inclusive market systems approach to agriculture development is one that seeks to spur lasting market growth and change through engaging and incentivizing the private sector to include disadvantaged smallholder farmers and others in economic activities. Chemonics is hosting a live, interactive discussion with key field-based technical experts currently implementing two USAID Feed the Future projects: Nigeria Maximizing Agricultural Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted States (MARKETS) II and Uganda Commodity Production and Marketing Activity (CPMA).

June 3: ICTforAg Conference

This one-day event will showcase precision agriculture and ICT applications for African smallholder farmers. The conference will bring together more than 150 thought leaders and decision makers in agriculture and technology from the international development community and private sector to examine how information and communication technologies can empower smallholder farmers and the value chains that support them.

June 3: Ag Week Reception

Here you can join over 200 of peers in agriculture, technology, and development at a reception celebrating the first-ever International Agriculture Week—which combines the AIARD conference, the MEAS Symposium 2015, and ICTforAg—with hands-on demos of cool technology (and cool drinks!). 

June 3-5: Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) Symposium 2015

How can we best strengthen extension systems in developing countries in order to reduce poverty and increase food security? What are the lessons from the MEAS experience and the experience of partners around the world? How can we sustain impacts to result in improved services for small-holder farmers, especially women farmers? Discuss these questions and more at the MEAS Symposium. This year’s theme is “Strengthening Extension and Advisory Services for Lasting Impacts.”

The week is jam-packed with sessions like “Fostering South-South Collaboration and International Research and Education Networks” and “The Role of Extension/Advisory Services in the Feed the Future Initiative.”

While the official, planned seminars promise to be interesting and informative, they will also serve as a catalyst for further dialog on the latest topics in the sector. These peripheral discussions triggered by the formal meetings are often the most enjoyable and productive part of industry events! DC Ag Week provides a platform for individuals with a variety of skill level, expertise, backgrounds, to share their unique perspective on agricultural development and we look forward to meeting like-minded people and having thought-provoking conversation on the latest topics in agricultural development.

Watch this space—we’ll be providing updates and analysis all week from many of the DC Ag Week events. Stay tuned!

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