Agricultural Research at the Crossroads : Revisited Resource-poor Farmers and the Millennium Development Goals book cover
1st Edition

Agricultural Research at the Crossroads
Revisited Resource-poor Farmers and the Millennium Development Goals

Edited By

Bo M I Bengtsson

ISBN 9781578085149
Published January 5, 2007 by CRC Press
350 Pages

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Book Description

It is necessary to integrate field data relevant to policy with a global overview with up-to-date information for synthesis into scenarios and a vision of how future research and development in agriculture can best help those who are most needy and have little access to productive resources. The overall task is a huge challenge for policy-makers and the agricultural research establishment. It is also of concern in teaching agricultural students to be able to respond to future challenges. This publication is an attempt to stimulate discussion on future options of research policy, suggesting changes of agricultural R&D for societal development in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.

Table of Contents

Global Agriculture and Revisited Resource-poor Farmers
Revisiting Farmers
Agricultural Development Towards Modernization
Civilization Is Rooted in Agriculture
From Agricultural to Industrial Culture
Modernization: Progress and Decline
Manageable Information
Towards the Future
Process of Adoption of Agricultural Innovations, Changes of
Cultural Practices and Technical Change Among Revisited
Resource-poor Farmers over almost Four Decades

Aroid Farmers in Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago
Some Features of Aroid Cultivation and Technical Changes
Agricultural Extension, Research and Experimentation
Some Development Indicators
Problem Identification by Farmers and Their Vision for 2015
Summary of Highlights
Farmers in the Ethiopian Highlands
Features of Plant Husbandry and Technical Changes
Agricultural Extension, Research and Experimentation
Some Development Indicators
Problem Identification by Farmers and Their Vision for 2015
Summary of Highlights
Swedish Farmers under a High Degree of Tenancy
Technical Changes and Adoption of Agricultural Innovations
Agricultural Extension, Research and Experimentation
Some Development Indicators
Problem Identification by Farmers and Their Vision for 2015
Summary of Highlights at Gramanstorp
Brief Comparative Analysis of Policies for Agricultural
Research and Extension
Adoption of Agricultural Innovations
Agricultural Extension
Agricultural Research and Experimentation
Agricultural Policy
Global Trends—Threats or Challenges to
Future Food Security and Food Safety

The Same Old Alarm Bells?
Rate of Population Growth
The HIV/AIDS Epidemic and Emerging Diseases
Biological Diversity
Losses of Biodiversity Related to Agriculture, Fishery and
Access to Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
Maintenance of Plant Genetic Resources
From Free Access and Exchange to Political Bureaucracy
Towards an End of Cheap Fossil Energy
Climate Change and Agriculture
Water Scarcity and Water Pollution
Urbanization and Waste Mountains
Towards Declining Confidence in Food Safety?
The BSE Crisis Led to Panic: What Next?
Danger from Direct and Indirect Food Contamination by
Synthetic Chemicals
Chemicalization of Food—and Life?
Obesity—a Growing Problem
Migration—a Search for a Better Life
Globalization and Agribusiness
The Globalization Process
Transnational Corporations
A Growing Global Agribusiness
Seed and Livestock Corporations
Globally Expanding Agro-biotechnology Companies
The Private Sector and Environmental Pollution
Towards a Few Large Agricultural Corporations?
Global Food Supply
Past Performance
International Food Conferences—Why Do Not Policy-makers Act?
Putting an End to Mega-conferences
The Challenge
Increased Productivity
Can the Challenge Be Met?
Some Pros and Cons of the Millennium Development Goals
Towards an Agricultural Vision
Mission Impossible?
Free Trade
Towards an Agricultural Vision
Agricultural Technology and Trends in Agricultural Research
Agricultural Technology and Innovations
Basic Concepts behind Emerging Agricultural Research
Past Trends in Agricultural Research
The Colonial Period
Topical Research Based on Ideas of Western-type Agriculture
Towards Food Crops
Agricultural Research and Society
Agricultural Research at the Crossroads—
Reflections on Future R&D

The Changing Framework for Agricultural Research
Future Agricultural Research—For Whom?
Land Use
Agricultural Biodiversity
Soil Fertility and Replacement of Nutrients
Natural Resource Management
Water Resources and Their Agricultural Use
Improved Productivity
Towards Higher Crop Yields
Livestock Research
Biotechnology for Food Security and Food Safety
The Overall Picture
Some Issues
Can Transgenic Crops Help Resource-poor Farmers?
Transfer of Power to the Private Sector
Plant Protection
Crop Losses
Efficiency and Long-term Effects of Pesticides
Resistance: the Other Side of the Coin
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Bio-pesticides or "Green Chemicals"
Biological Control
Agriculture and Medicine
Fisheries and Aquaculture
Dissemination of Agricultural Technology
Risk Assessments, Values and Ethics
International Agricultural Research through the Consultative
Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE)

A System of International Agricultural Research Centres
Exceptional Growth
Attempts at Increased Democracy in a Decade of Stagnating Funds
Towards Improved Decision-making
Challenges and Unresolved Issues for the CGIAR and Its
Future Harvest Centers
Contributions to Overall Impact
A Rigorous Review System with Diminishing Influence
Responses to Environmental Issues, Poverty Reduction and
New Challenges
Collaboration with National Agricultural Research Systems
The Private Sector and Intellectual Property Rights
CGIAR and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources
for Food and Agriculture
Donor Autonomy
Swedish Policy on the CGIAR
Some Conclusions and Suggestions
Some Issues in University Teaching and Future
Role of Agricultural Universities

Growth of Universities and University Teaching in Agriculture
Some Issues for Universities Serving Future Society in Agriculture
and Land Use
Focus on Higher Education
Lost Monopoly of Knowledge
Piecemeal Knowledge without Contextual Framework
The Illusion of Scientific and Political Freedom
Declining Trend in Public Funding
Future Need and Role of an Agricultural University
From College of Agriculture to University of Agricultural Sciences:
Perpetuating Soul Searching
Some Conclusions
Development Assistance and Science Aid to Agricultural R&D
Development Assistance in Perspective: Another Problem Area
of Trend Setting

Some Issues for Future Development Assistance
Poverty Reduction
Policy Dialogue
Coordination of External Support at the Country Level
Donor Dominance and Low Absorptive Capacity
Impact of Aid and Lessons Learnt
Future Role of the UN System in Agriculture, Forestry
and Fishery
Poverty Focus in Swedish Development Assistance:
Rhetoric and Reality
Some Conclusions
I. Glossary

II. Acronyms and Abbreviations
III. The Millennium Development Goals
IV. Major International Conferences and Conventions
of Relevance to Poverty Eradication and Agriculture

V. Some Highlights of Impact, Research and Policy
Orientation by CGIAR Institutes and ICIPE in the
Mid-1970s and the Early 2000s

VI. References

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