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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.

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Perspectives from the UK foresight global food and farming futures programme

Most future projections suggest that to meet expected demands of growing and wealthier global populations, agricultural output will have to expand to some 70-100% of current levels, and to do so within increasing resource constraints, with increasing stress and volatility associated with climate change, and under increasing social, economic and political pressure associated with uncertainty and vulnerability. While greater food supply is itself a major task (see for example Bruinsma, 2009), food security, and the means to maintain and improve equity of food access amongst the world’s most vulnerable people will be a particular challenge. The recent UK Foresight Review on Global Food and Farming Futures (Foresight, 2011) concluded that while the technical means might exist to deliver proposed output levels, scenarios of rising and more volatile prices, ecosystem limits, hunger alleviation, and biodiversity demands would require concerted responses to intensify sustainably, improve supply chain efficiencies, improve consumer awareness and reduce waste. To avoid substantial real term price rises and minimise ecosystem and climate change impact, rates of change of agricultural productivity would have to increase above current levels, and this would require more effective Research and Development (R&D), uptake and capacity building.

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