GCARD2010: Transforming Agriculture Research for Development

A comprehensive report building on knowledge obtained from the regional consultations and including references to some 300 articles was formally presented to GCARD stakeholders today for review.

Prepared by a team of experts led by Uma Lele, former Senior Advisor to the World Bank, and including Eugene Terry, Eduardo Trigo and Jules Pretty, the report provides a roadmap for massive reform of the architecture of what it terms a currently “fragmented global system of research and development.”

“The low hanging fruit of the green revolution has already been harvested, so the challenges we have now are substantially larger,” said Lele. “We are all saying that it is time for a departure from business as usual. What would ‘business as unusual’ mean?”

According to the authors, agriculture is highly context-specific and needs to move away from the expectation that research advances can be applied as one recipe—or single models as silver bullets—developed globally and applied locally. 

Lele emphasized that national stakeholders can and must build up their capacity if there is any hope of tackling the problem of food insecurity. She added, “if we are serious about reaching a billion people, we better not be exclusive about which technologies to use.”

The participants were charged with suggesting new ideas for ensuring AR4D reaches farmers. A particularly compelling idea was to develop a demand index to measure the relevance of the work with farmers.

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