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Challenges for Agricultural Research

image of Challenges for Agricultural Research

As the world has changed during the past 50 years, so has agriculture. And so has agricultural research, which continues to confront new challenges, from food security to ecological concerns to land use issues. Indeed, as Guy Paillotin, the former president of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) has noted, agricultural research “has reached new heights in biology and is exploring other disciplines. It is forever changing, as are the needs of the society”.

The changing challenges faced by agricultural research were examined in depth at a conference organised by the OECD’s Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, together with the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Agriculture. Participants came from all agricultural sectors and included farmers, industry, scientists and decision makers, as well as other stake holders.

This publication presents the twenty papers delivered at the conference. They highlight recent major progress in agricultural research outcomes and address the challenges that lie ahead.

www.oecd.org/agriculture/crp

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Food without Zoonotic Agents: Fact or Fiction?

Over the last decades considerable investment has been made to produce safe food. In many industrialised countries food is safer than ever before due to continuous efforts, but this can never be taken for granted. Some existing microbiological food safety problems still remain a challenge; well-known pathogens may be transmitted by hitherto unknown vehicles and new pathogens will continue to emerge. Many factors influence the changing epidemiology of pathogens and their emergence is only partly predictable or explainable. The majority of foodborne pathogens have their reservoir in the animal population. Therefore, one of the keys for future preparedness to detect new trends, to implement control measures and to predict the effect of interventions is intersectoral collaboration between animal health, the food sector and public health.

English

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