Hard talk in the garden
Following up on the panel discussion he chaired in the first plenary session of the day (The role of busi-ness in accelerating the impacts of agroforestry), Tony Simons, Director General of the World Agrofor-estry Centre mediated a ‘The Business Hard Talk Dialogue’ in the Kempinski garden. Over 50 hardy delegates braved the New Delhi winter to hear
a stellar line up of business leaders from Mars,Danone, Tata and the Pur Project discuss the real opportunities for greater business engagement in agroforestry. Building on the morning plenary session the speakers looked at the opportunities for greater collaboration between stakeholders and en-gaging small-holder farmers. Tony Simons grilled the panel with tough questions like, “And so we put it to you that you are not really interested in the small-holder, if you could get it cheaper, more reliably or higher quality you will go there and abandon the smallholder.” Needless to say, the business leaders were able to explain their genuine belief in social responsibility and the challenges of merging them with commercial realities. There were two bloggers and a tweeter in the audience, so look out for a full report(s) later today.
Congress painting competition
Hundreds of children from all over India entered the painting competition that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research ICAR held to mark the Congress. The contest was open to children aged 6 to 12 years and the winner was Km. V. Niharika of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, who depicted the role of trees in our lives in a very accomplished way. I’m sorry but I really can’t find out how old she is. Still, it is a striking image.