During a panel discussion organized by Food Tank, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), experts argue for a participatory, inclusive, systems-based approach to public research.

The panelists address the need to change the way research is conducted, beginning with a more inclusive approach.

“There is a lot of knowledge in the people,” Zuleta tells Food Tank. She and the other panelists argue that unless research engages women, youth, Indigenous groups, and other communities that are most impacted by the food system, transformation is not possible.

Involving these different groups can also address another need that Monte emphasizes: ensuring that research focuses on practical needs and benefits the most vulnerable.

“At the end of the day, the research that we have should be very precise and pragmatic. It should be able to change people’s lives,” Monte tells Food Tank. He continues, “If we do not have any change, it’s a waste of money, a waste of time.”

Read the full summary of the discussion about public research in food systems by Elena Seeley at Food Tank.