Improving Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems

OECD Conference Proceedings

image of Improving Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems

This conference proceedings from the OECD Conference on Agricultural Knowledge Systems (AKS), held in Paris, on 15-17 June 2011, discusses a large range of experiences and approaches to AKS  explores how to foster development and adoption of innovation to meet global food security and climate change challenges. The conference considered developments in institutional frameworks, public and private roles and partnerships, regulatory frameworks conducive to innovation, the adoption of innovations and technology transfers, and the responsiveness of AKS to broader policy objectives.


A rainbow revolution and participatory plant breeding

Combining traditional knowledge and modern science

The adoption of new crop varieties by local farmers has been a key technological innovation for improving productivity and profitability. Plant breeding, carried out either by farmers or professional breeders, has been the main tool for the development and dissemination of these new varieties. Its role will continue to increase in importance over the coming decades in a time of major challenges for sustainable plant production due to factors such as global climate change, food insecurity and the degradation of natural resources. A successful example of an Agricultural Knowledge System (AKS) is participatory plant breeding which combines the local knowledge of traditional farmers and the scientific knowledge of modern scientists applied at a global level, thus allowing for efficient local innovation in the context of global challenges. The lessons learned and the future prospects of this participatory approach are analysed.


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