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Looking Back to the CFS and Forum Week

October was a busy month for the Emerging ag team with a full paced return to in-person events. While it was a busy time, we were thrilled to have so many team members together in Rome working on these projects.

From 10 – 13 October the 50th session of the Committee on World Food Security took place at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This was the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. We are so proud of this year’s delegation, which included diverse gender, geographical and age representation. The strong return to CFS in such huge numbers is a confirmation of private sector’s commitment to the work of CFS. The delegation was 176 individuals from 37 countries. We were also thrilled to have 37 youth participants from all backgrounds joining these conversations. Throughout the week PSM held 15 additional bilateral meetings with Member States and other international stakeholders. These meetings were an opportunity to highlight PSM’s commitments, priorities, and support for upcoming engagement opportunities.

In addition to the bilateral meetings, PSM was able to make 13 interventions from panels and the plenary floor. These statements came from a wide variety of members who were able to speak personally on their experiences on the topic while having in-depth expert knowledge.

PSM members organized 5 side events this year reaching over 1000 attendees in a hybrid mode. Topics included gender, zero hunger, philanthropy in times of crisis, farmers and agroecosystems, and future-proofing soils: the role of youth and actionable data. Members of the delegation also had an opportunity to speak in additional side events and a special event session in plenary.

If that week wasn’t busy enough, the following week from 17 – 21 October, the first annual World Food Forum took place in Rome. The World Food Forum was broken down into three key topics, the Global Youth Forum, the Science and Innovation Forum and the Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum. Each topic held a specific interest for our delegates and brought forward experts in the field to discuss opportunities and current innovations in the field. The PSM delegation was significantly smaller during the second week with approximately 20 individuals taking part. Each delegate was able to arrange meetings based on their interests to discuss specific innovations or investment opportunities. While this was an inaugural year for these forums, we expect them to evolve into yearly events in which PSM will continue their engagement.

During the World Food Forum, the International Agri-Food Network, of which Emerging ag is the Secretariat, was excited to officially launch a Women SME Mentorship Programme. The programme partners 50 promising women entrepreneurs with women mentors to accelerator their innovations. It was an exciting moment for private sector, IAFN, the Emerging team and women everywhere! To learn more about the programme you can read a blog about the launch here.

We were thrilled to see so many of our PSM members after two years apart and it was an exciting opportunity to have so many of our team members back together. CFS and the evolving World Food Forum is a hectic time but provides one of the most rewarding weeks for Emerging ag bringing forward collaborations, team bonding and a reinvigoration of working towards food security for all.

Ashleigh Schoonderbeek
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