McGill launches new partnership with the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development

Published: 25 July 2023

On May 31, 2023, McGill University’s Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) and SOCODEVI, in collaboration with the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), held an event showcasing concrete actions to strengthen sustainable agriculture, improve the living conditions of smallholder farmers and increase the resilience of agri-food systems. This event also launched a new collaboration between IFAD and McGill IGFS, including an internship program and IFAD student group.

During the panel discussion, experts discussed building resilient food systems in the context of climate change adaptation by empowering women and youth and seizing opportunities for partnerships and cooperation. In his opening address, IFAD President Alvaro Lario emphasized that the cooperative model “supports and catalyzes investments for transformation” toward resilient agri-food systems. Patrick Cortbaoui, IGFS Managing Director, highlighted that collective initiatives are also excellent ways for communities to access inputs and choose climate-resilient seeds that correspond to their food preferences, “an important element of their food security.” Read a full summary of the panel from SOCODEVI.

The new McGill–IFAD internship program will expose students to IFAD’s work and impart knowledge of the United Nations system and international rural development. This partnership also marks the establishment of the IFAD Student Network, an initiative aimed at connecting students passionate about rural development and food security across Canadian universities.

Congratulations to McGill's first IFAD interns, master's student Zoë Johnson and Sustainability undergraduate Cassia Attard. Zoë is studying water resource management in McGill's Department of Bioresource Engineering. Her interests include food systems, environmental advocacy, and hiking. Cassia has worked on transparent solar technology, as a freelance climate consultant, and for Lomi as a carbon accountant. She is interested in climate-smart agriculture.

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