Food and Agriculture

International agricultural research, technology generation, transfer, adoption and impact (IARTGTAI) constitute components of a system that has evolved from a relatively simple structure in the 1960s to a complex network in the late 1990s. Its functioning is of great international interest. Despite major successes on the food front, there are still 850 million people who earn less than a dollar a day and go to bed hungry. Many studies of research, adoption and/or impact in agriculture exist, but they tend to look at specific aspects of the scientific and technology processes, such as priority setting or research impact. The recent changes in the science and technology processes and the resulting present structure have not been analyzed sufficiently yet as organizational innovations intended to alleviate market failures with a view to achieve specific social objectives. The innovations form part of a larger global science and technology process consisting of multiple actors, each with a different set of interests. A broader evolutionary framework offers an opportunity for a clearer understanding of the relationship between sources of technical change in agriculture, and the spread of its adaptation and adoption by producers and agroindustries.





Lele, Uma; Ekboir, Javier. 2004. Technology generation, adaptation, adoption and impact: towards a framework for understanding and increasing research impact. Washington, DC: World Bank.



The original mission of the CGIAR was a strategic, science-based focus on increasing " the pile of rice on the plates of food-short consumers, " as characterized by a former chairman. It was to use the best science in advanced countries to develop technologies for the benefit of food deficit countries and populations. But a rapidly changing external environment has led to an expanded mission and mandate. The mission statement adopted in 1998 is " food security and poverty eradication in developing countries through research, partnerships, capacity building, and policy support, promoting sustainable agricultural development based on the environmentally sound management of natural resources. " Several forces continue to influence the CGIAR ' s mandate. First, the rise of civil society organizations and the empowerment of marginal groups and women have increased donors ' attention to social concerns. By restricting their funding to preferred programs and areas, donors are altering the composition of CGIAR activities. Second, water shortages, soil degradation, climate change, and loss of biodiversity have increased the prominence of natural resource management (NRM), policy, and social science research. The new research topics (in which proponents argue the CGIAR has developed a " dynamic comparative advantage " ) are downstream activities, closer to the farmer, which entail local expertise and solutions, while traditional germplasm improvement research builds on the CGIAR ' s historical comparative advantage. Third, the growing importance of genetic resource management, the biotechnology revolution, intellectual property rights (IPR), and private sector research call for System-level responses, strategies, and policies.