Shaping Tomorrow’s Agriculture Today


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Presentation by Mark Holderness (GFAR) at the IAALD 2010 World Congress - 26-29 April 2010

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Shaping Tomorrow’s Agriculture Today

  1. 1. Shaping Tomorrow’s Agriculture Today Mark Holderness, Ajit Maru & Valeria Pesce The Global Forum on Agricultural Research
  2. 2. The Global Forum is: <ul><li>A Global Advocate for agricultural research to meet the future needs of humanity </li></ul><ul><li>The Key Global Link between agricultural science and society </li></ul><ul><li>A Voice for the disadvantaged </li></ul><ul><li>A Partnership for change </li></ul><ul><li>A Catalyst for action </li></ul><ul><li>An Open and Inclusive Platform for sharing and learning </li></ul>
  3. 3. GFAR - We Are You <ul><li>Farmers – putting poor rural communities at the centre of research </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Society – a voice for the needs of the disadvantaged, bridging local and scientific innovation </li></ul><ul><li>National Agricultural Research & Extension – capable, relevant and integrated systems meeting the needs of the poor </li></ul><ul><li>Private Sector – effective, responsible input delivery & output markets </li></ul><ul><li>International Research Centers – driven by national development needs </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental Research Institutions – ‘upstream’ research driven by development objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Donor organizations – fulfilling development aims through explicitly demand-driven policies and processes </li></ul>
  4. 4. Global Forum: Priorities for Action <ul><li>Advocacy for change : Strengthen the voice and demand of society for innovative agricultural research around key development issues </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions for the Future : Transform agricultural research, extension and education institutions to meet our future needs </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-regional learning : New partnerships catalysing rapid and efficient change around the world </li></ul><ul><li>Putting knowledge to use : Empower change by overcoming the barriers to knowledge flow </li></ul>
  5. 5. The GCARD - Transforming AR4D: Business as usual is not an option... <ul><li>Populations are growing fast </li></ul><ul><li>Food demands are changing </li></ul><ul><li>Climates are changing </li></ul><ul><li>Land use is changing </li></ul><ul><li>Water resources are diminishing </li></ul><ul><li>Soil resources are eroding </li></ul><ul><li>Urbanization is advancing </li></ul><ul><li>Farming populations are getting older </li></ul><ul><li>The poor are increasingly marginalized </li></ul>
  6. 6. Towards an ‘evergreen’ revolution <ul><li>How can we increase agricultural productivity and farmer incomes while: </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring the poor benefit and societal needs are met </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainably managing environmental resources </li></ul><ul><li>And what kind of institutions do we need to meet these challenges? </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>But... </li></ul><ul><li>Why isn’t past research better benefiting the poor? </li></ul><ul><li>Why have many apparently effective technologies not been adopted? </li></ul><ul><li>Why has society been losing confidence in agricultural science? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are research and extension institutions not effectively connected with those they are intended to benefit? </li></ul>The generation and application of knowledge is critical to meeting the huge global challenges facing agriculture Agriculture: a knowledge-based industry
  8. 8. Developing countries must have access to external information Researchers per million people
  9. 9. Clickstream data : how scientific literature is accessed and connected, from users’ downloading and browsing behaviour (PLoS ONE, 2009) Current science: social science linkages
  10. 10. All knowledge has value <ul><li>Scientific knowledge is reductionist, trusted & validated by its method </li></ul><ul><li>Local knowledge is holistic, trusted & validated by experience & culture </li></ul><ul><li>Need to link & reconcile these knowledge & trust bases </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable development must value & capitalize on both </li></ul>P. Van Mele
  11. 11. Empowered by Knowledge Society is full of natural innovators... Constrained by resources & risk-aware
  12. 12. <ul><li>Knowledge is not static, derives from actions & interactions </li></ul>The nature of innovation Information is passive, becomes knowledge through use Innovation and change derives from the interaction and knowledge of multiple actors within a context J.Vos
  13. 13. What stops information becoming innovation ? <ul><li>Control </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Reductionism/complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligibility & format </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Belief systems </li></ul><ul><li>Attitudes to change </li></ul>E. Boa
  14. 14. GCARD: agricultural research centred on meeting development needs of the poor Knowledge Flow Policy Processes & Networks Markets
  15. 15. Community innovation loops External information pool Scientific innovation loops Innovation Learning Sharing/ feedback New external knowledge Established information Transformation Community innovation brokers Local knowledge base Belief Test under own conditions Result Adoption Share Accessibility Distillation Mass media Connecting science & society Institutional learning Transformation
  16. 16. The role of the Innovation brokers <ul><li>Accessing & Sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Transforming Information </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing collective actions </li></ul><ul><li>Catalysing enterprise </li></ul>J.Vos E. Boa P. VanMele
  17. 17. GCARD: Knowledge is essential for development, but development requires more than knowledge Desired development outcome Policies promoting agricultural development & innovation Innovation pathways Enabling environment & inputs
  18. 18. Knowledge for all <ul><li>Overcome communication and trust barriers between science & society </li></ul><ul><li>ICM to integrate scientific and local innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Transform knowledge, change lives </li></ul>Local innovation Scientific innovation External information Empower change through knowledge
  19. 19. Breaking down the walls <ul><li>Community-centred , not technology-centred thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative knowledge access & transformation systems </li></ul><ul><li>Stakeholders learning & innovating together, managing benefits & risks </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional reorientation & changed attitudes/values </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence of R&D, education and business policies and resources </li></ul>joedale.typepad
  20. 20. Knowledge for All – Advocacy for... <ul><li>Investment in ICM as integral to research & extension </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of ICM as an AR4D discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Restructuring institutions & promoting knowledge flow </li></ul><ul><li>Building institutional & inter-disciplinary connections </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating diverse forms of information, reflecting the needs of poor farmers </li></ul>
  21. 21. Knowledge for All - Capacities <ul><li>Build on tools and technologies readily available to the poorest </li></ul><ul><li>Re-purpose data via ICTs to inform and empower smallholder farmers in their decisions </li></ul>
  22. 22. Knowledge for All - Access <ul><li>Improve the coherence and integration of diverse information </li></ul><ul><li>Make information objects: text, pictures, datasets, models, video, radio etc. reusable and customizable for new purposes and contexts </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Blended’ learning tools </li></ul><ul><li>CIARD – launch of a key step forwards </li></ul>ITU, 2004
  23. 24. Knowledge for All - Governance <ul><li>Whose information is it? Accessibility and IP Capacities </li></ul><ul><li>How relevant is it for specific development needs? Women farmers, the poorest farmers... </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing knowledge – EGFAR, RSS feeds, blogs, policy papers </li></ul><ul><li>Develop national and regional agricultural information & learning systems </li></ul><ul><li>CIARD RING – mapping available information resources </li></ul>
  24. 26. Over to You... <ul><li>You have the tools to transform people’s lives through knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Your actions are crucial </li></ul><ul><li>You have the power to break down the walls and barriers in agricultural research and extension and their institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Your Global Forum provides the mechanism and the opportunity... </li></ul><ul><li>Use it to change the world... </li></ul>
  25. 27. Thank You