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  1. 1. Major Scientific Achievements in and beyond the CGIAR in Latin America and the Caribbean; Reflections and Lessons Science Forum CGIAR Annual General Meeting December 4, 2007, Beijing, China Jesus Moncada de la Fuente
  2. 2. Reflections and Lessons <ul><li>Agricultural research achievements </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s challenge: to satisfy news demand for a more diverse, holistic and complex research agenda </li></ul><ul><li>The evolution of research institutions and policy </li></ul><ul><li>Public awareness and support </li></ul>
  3. 3. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) <ul><li>The region has a rich tradition of agricultural innovations, dating back to Pre-Columbian times. </li></ul><ul><li>Today, public and private institutions continue to do research and transfer technology. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Latin America: The c radle of the CGIAR System <ul><li>In 1943, Mexico & the Rockefeller Foundation created the Office of Special Studies (OEE). </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1950s the OEE’s success fostered the creation of National Institutes for Agricultural Research in Mexico and other LAC countries. </li></ul><ul><li>And inspired the foundation of IRRI & CIMMYT, and ultimately of the CGIAR system. </li></ul>
  5. 6. The Shuttle Breeding Strategy <ul><li>Used Mexico’s diverse ecological regions to apply strong selection pressure to wheat lines. </li></ul><ul><li>Resulted in varieties with wide global adaptation, which India, Pakistan, and others used successfully. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1950, Mexico was self-sufficient in wheat. </li></ul><ul><li>The Green Revolution had begun. </li></ul>Source: Agricultural Research in “El Horno – CEVAMEX”. Where it all began. An Overview, México. INIFAP. Special Issue. No. 2. September 2004.
  6. 7. Human capital was developed <ul><li>Shuttle breeding required scientists to travel to various breeding sites to track progress in wheat line selections. </li></ul><ul><li>The personal sacrifice produced gratifying rewards. </li></ul><ul><li>A new World-System was being built, combining international collaboration, </li></ul><ul><li>applied science, and training. </li></ul>Source: Agricultural Research in “El Horno – CEVAMEX”. Where it all began. An Overview, México. INIFAP. Special Issue. No. 2. September 2004.
  7. 8. The Initial Objective: Food Security <ul><li>The National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) put science to work from the start: </li></ul><ul><li>They targeted staple crops, and focused on improving yields and quality through plant breeding, and better management practices; </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic resistance to pests and disease reduced the need for purchased inputs; </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists and producers collaborated on staple crop breeding strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Access to free, improved germplasm and tools </li></ul><ul><li>developed by CIMMYT, CIAT, CIP & other CGIAR </li></ul><ul><li>centers contributed to NARIs achievements. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Soil and water constraints were addressed <ul><li>Soil acidity is a widespread characteristic of </li></ul><ul><li>high rainfall areas of Latin America’s tropics. </li></ul><ul><li>Improved maize varieties, tolerant of high aluminum concentrations, were developed. </li></ul><ul><li>So were water and fertilizer-efficient staple crop varieties. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Soil Erosion <ul><li>To manage its soil’s sustainably, Latin America must reduce soil erosion and the accelerated loss of soil organic matter. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced or zero tillage practices have been developed or adapted to local conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>A wealth of soil biology / fertility knowledge has been acquired along with rational, cost effective, inorganic and organic fertilizer practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Green manures and more effective legume inoculants for atmospheric nitrogen fixation have been adopted. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Integrated Pest Management <ul><li>National and international centers have developed and promoted Integrated Pest Management systems (IPM): </li></ul><ul><li>A cost effective, environmentally sensitive approach, IPM is less hazardous to humans and environments. </li></ul><ul><li>Staple and industrial crops, fruits, vegetables and export oriented commodities, as well as livestock and forestry have benefited. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Agricultural Innovation outside the CGIAR <ul><li>Local public & private programs have generated or imported technologies for non-CGIAR priority crops, such as, sugarcane, coffee, cacao, cotton, fruits & vegetables. </li></ul><ul><li>Private industry has developed transgenic varieties (gmos) in such crops as, s oybeans, cotton, canola & vegetable seeds. </li></ul>Public & private sector collaboration is a welcome challenge in LAC.
  12. 13. Technological Spillovers <ul><li>In Latin America’s southern cone high growth commodities like: soybeans, chicken, beef, and biofuels have benefited from technological spillovers. </li></ul><ul><li>They also benefited from innovations generated locally by public and private organizations. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Assessing the Achievements <ul><li>LAC successfully generated and adapted science based technological innovations that contributed greatly to agricultural productivity. </li></ul><ul><li>However, </li></ul><ul><li>There were marked regional differences . </li></ul><ul><li>The achievements carried significant environmental and social costs . </li></ul><ul><li>The main beneficiaries were medium and large , market-oriented producers, particularly the better equipped and organized . </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>More conscious of health and environmental issues and social inequities, today’s society has new expectations and demands that call for a more complex and holistic agenda. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The NARIs are not yet fully satisfying these new demands. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To do so, the NARIs must find ways to reconcile apparently conflicting objectives : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitiveness and sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social and cultural inclusion </li></ul></ul>Society’s New Demands
  15. 16. S trategic objectives for Latin America’s NARIs <ul><li>The region needs research strategies and innovations that: </li></ul><ul><li>Favor minimum input, environmentally sensitive, equitable, and agroecological approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to the need of specific commodities, production systems, and water basins. </li></ul><ul><li>Help to increase agricultural products’ value added. </li></ul><ul><li>Support market and subsistence - oriented production systems and new, high-value, export-oriented agricultural products. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Latin America’s Regional Research Agendas <ul><li>To satisfy the new public demand, Latin America must produce regionally relevant public goods, specifically addressing, </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Food safety </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nutrition / health </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plant and animal health </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Water efficiency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Biodiversity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Waste & Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Air Pollution </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Global Environmental Concerns <ul><li>Several issues — shared globally — add to the complexity of such a new agenda: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deterioration of the natural resource base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global warming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A looming energy crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Such a complex agenda will test </li></ul><ul><li>regional and global solidarity. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Inter-Institutional Cooperation <ul><li>No NARI has the capacity to tackle such a diverse agenda alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Society could benefit from better coordinated research initiatives and inter institutional synergies. </li></ul><ul><li>This can be done through existing organizations and networks at the national, sub-regional, regional and continental levels. </li></ul>
  19. 20. The evolution of research institutions and policy Innovation and participatory development strategies
  20. 21. From NARI s to NARS s <ul><li>The current trend for NARIs to evolve into National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) is commendable. It deserves strong public and private support. </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory development networks, organized by commodity, food or agro-industries, or water basin, should be encouraged. </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative participatory technology transfer strategies, should be supported. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Based on Producers’ Opinions … <ul><li>Technology is not the only factor limiting agricultural productivity and sustainability. </li></ul><ul><li>Experience suggests that innovation is also needed in: marketing, credit, infrastructure, producer organizations, and education. </li></ul><ul><li>Generating such innovations and participatory development strategies requires concerted efforts by governments and communities. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Public and Private Sector Interaction Public–Private Hybrid Organizations
  23. 24. Mexico’s Fundación Produce Model <ul><li>This institutional innovation in Mexico speaks for a vital stakeholder base with a strong political voice in support of agricultural research and technology transfer. </li></ul><ul><li>Produce has supported the transformation of public agricultural research organizations and influenced the design and realization of agricultural research and innovation policies. </li></ul><ul><li>Over the last ten years Fundación Produce has </li></ul><ul><li>influenced relations between producers and the federal and state governments. </li></ul>Source: Ekboir, J.M, et al, 2006. Las Fundaciones Produce a diez años de su creación: pensando en el futuro. Informe Final de Evaluación. International Food Policy Research Institute. (IFPRI). Coordinadora Nacional de las Fundaciones Produce. (COFUPRO A.C.) México D.F.
  24. 25. Public Awareness <ul><li>Improved dialogue between NARIs and its greater constituency is needed to create and improve awareness of the economic, social and ecological impacts of agricultural research. </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency and accountability should guide the interaction. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Key Considerations in Designing Agricultural Research Strategy for the Future
  26. 27. Latin America’s challenge : A pro - poor agricultural research agenda <ul><li>Agricultural research has alleviated some rural and urban poverty by lowering food prices and increasing wages & employment in the nonagricultural sector, however, </li></ul><ul><li>It has not eradicated poverty, which may be worsening as markets liberalize and agriculture’s importance diminishes relative to other sectors. </li></ul>
  27. 28. Latin America’s challenge : A pro - poor agricultural research agenda <ul><li>“ Until recently reducing poverty was a secondary goal of agricultural research”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The primary focus was on increasing food supplies and reducing food prices”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ This was often good news for the poor, as increased productivity lowered food prices and more jobs, cutting poverty significantly” </li></ul><ul><li>“ However, benefits did not materialize for all poor people, and some indigent people were negatively impacted” </li></ul>Source: Meinzen-Dick, R., M.Adato, L.Haddad and P.Hazell. Science and Poverty. An Interdisciplinary Assesment of the Impact of Agricultural Research. Washington, D.C. IFPRI.2004
  28. 29. <ul><li>Is it fair to expect scientists incorporate equity into an already complex research agenda? </li></ul><ul><li>Or to blame them when apparently scale-neutral technology benefits large farmers or rich consumers due to government policies they don’t control. </li></ul><ul><li>Nickel (1989) postulates that “research policy and strategy can be designed in a manner so the benefits contribute to poverty alleviation”. </li></ul>A Query… Source: Nickel, J. L. 1989. Research Management for Development. Open Letter to a New Agricultural Research Director. . Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura. IICA. San José de Costarica.
  29. 30. Stable Production as a Pro-poor Strategy <ul><li>“ Pro poor agricultural researchers must look beyond simply boosting productivity.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Stable yields for example, may actually be more important to farmers than higher but more variable yields (Mexico’s case) as they make people less vulnerably economically.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ By breeding new crop varieties –such as those resistant to drought, flooding, and pests– agricultural researchers may reduce farmers’ vulnerability to climatic and biological shocks.” </li></ul>Source: Bellon, M.R. 2003. Métodos de investigación participativa para evaluar tecnologías: Manual para científicos que trabajan con agricultores. Mexico, D.F. CIMMYT.
  30. 31. Agricultural Research is No Silver Bullet <ul><li>Agricultural research by itself cannot solve all the socio-economical problems and inequities plaguing the rural sector. </li></ul><ul><li>However, </li></ul><ul><li>More sharply focused research strategies can be designed to contribute to the alleviation of poverty and/or its negative consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>Latin America’s challenge: </li></ul><ul><li>a pro-poor agricultural research agenda </li></ul>
  31. 32. A New Green Revolution ? <ul><li>New developments in molecular biology, nanotechnology, bioinformatics etc, offer new opportunities to solve problems in Latin America. </li></ul><ul><li>However, such Hi-Tech endeavours are associated with high costs and a high degree of privatization and patenting. </li></ul><ul><li>The large commercial Hi-Tech companies will probably focus on crops and animal products with large markets. </li></ul>A Trust Fund is needed to finance frontier knowledge utilization…Regional and global solidarity will be tested
  32. 33. Funding for research in Latin America is declining <ul><li>Since the mid-1980s, budget restricting macro-economic and sector-specific policies have limited public funds for R&D; </li></ul><ul><li>The LAC region currently invests less than 0.5% of its total agricultural income in R&D, well below what is advisable; </li></ul><ul><li>Richer countries have better research intensity ratios; smaller and poorer countries are slipping behind. </li></ul>Source: Hertford, R., P.G. Pardey and S.R. Wood. 2004. A Strategic Look at Agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean: Prospects for Research and Development. IFPRI. BID. FONTAGRO.
  33. 34. Returns on Agricultural R&D <ul><li>Agricultural research is one of the best investments for developing countries to meet their goals. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Returns on agricultural R&D investment in LAC and elsewhere have been high, suggesting that more, not less, funding for research is indicated. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A concerted commitment by government and society is required to fund agricultural research more adequately. </li></ul>Source: Hertford, R., P.G. Pardey and S.R. Wood. 2004. A Strategic Look at Agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean: Prospects for Research and Development. IFPRI. BID. FONTAGRO .
  34. 35. FONTAGRO <ul><li>Launched in 1998, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank. </li></ul><ul><li>A unique strategy created by LAC countries to finance technology development for the rural sector. </li></ul><ul><li>A praiseworthy initiative. </li></ul>
  35. 36. In Conclusion <ul><li>1- Revalue Agriculture and the Rural Space </li></ul><ul><li>Societies and governments face the challenge of recognizing that agriculture and the rural environment are not only engines, for economic development that generate employment, income, and social stability. </li></ul><ul><li>They also play other roles essential for the quality of both rural and urban life, such as helping to maintain ecological balances and providing opportunities for recreation. </li></ul>
  36. 37. In Conclusion <ul><li>2 - Agriculture concerns society as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural problems concern not only producers, but society as a whole. </li></ul><ul><li>The current rural-urban interface is unbalanced, unequal and ecologically unsustainable. </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture and the rural–urban space deserve to be holistically developed, given their decisive influence on the wellbeing of present and future generations. </li></ul>
  37. 38. Thank You ! [email_address]
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