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.



Replacement of Fish Meal in Aquaculture Diets with Plant Ingredients as a Means of Improving Seafood Quality

The enhanced metabolic efficiency of aquatic animals such as fish and crustaceans over terrestrial homotherms includes the fact that they do not expend energy for body temperature regulation and excretion of toxic ammonia (without the need of synthesising its non-toxic derivatives). Therefore, utilisation of dietary nutrients for body deposition/growth can be higher in fish than in domestic mammals or birds. There is evidence that seafood quality can be enhanced by using specifically modified diets for cultured fish while simultaneously avoiding environmental pollutants in controlled farming. The question remains if fish can utilise feed stuffs of plant, bacterial, or yeast origin with low nutrient concentrations.


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