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

Agricultural Research at the Crossroads

Revisited Resource-poor Farmers and the Millennium Development Goals, 1st Edition

Edited by Bo M I Bengtsson

CRC Press

350 pages

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pub: 2007-01-05
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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


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General