Feedback needed: The state of “Foresight” in agriculture and rural development

To target research, innovation and policies more effectively to desired future impacts, we need to better understand how key issues in agriculture and rural development may develop in the future. Participants to the first Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD1) reached a good comprehension of current constraints.

At GCARD1, a group of foresight practitioners moderated a session presenting the main outputs of exchanges between the authors of nine exercises and invited guests. As a result, the GCARD Roadmap recognises that “improved foresight” is essential for understanding future agricultural and rural development contexts and changes around the world and for driving the research and innovation required to meet these needs.
GCARD1 also highlighted the fact that all stakeholders must be involved in identifying possible future needs in agriculture and rural development, if research, innovation and policy are to benefit the poor as intended.

For GCARD2, we prepared a synthesized report about the current state of foresight in agriculture and rural development.

This report is part of an inventory process which produced a series of briefs called “The Futures of Agriculture”, produced in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The briefs and more information about the inventory can be found on the GFAR website.

We need your feedback!

We would like also to give the chance to those of you, who will not attend GCARD2, to provide feedback on the ideas the report proposes. Below is a short questionnaire focusing on collective actions, actions where the collaboration of various stakeholders from different sectors is required in order to move forward.

Your answers will be synthesized and presented to the GCARD2 foresight session to initiate the debates with the participants and foster commitments to action.

In order to better answer the questions below, we suggest you read the synthesis report, which provides some background about foresight as well.

Question 1:
The report highlights new challenges and identifies some controversies related to future evolution of agriculture, food production and rural development (pages 12 to 18). Based on that, which challenges for the future do you consider the most relevant for agriculture and rural development that need to be addressed now through collective action?

Question 2:
The report describes how foresight works are currently conducted, and by whom. It also identifies issues related to foresight processes (pages 19-25). For a better and stronger impact of foresight in decision making, resources allocation, research priorities, innovations, and policies, what kind of collective action would you be willing to join, for example ?

Question 3:
The report proposes collective actions towards improved foresight (pages 26-30). In your opinion, what should the international agricultural research and development community commit, in relation to these collective actions?

You can leave your answers in the comments on this blog, or email them to Robin.Bourgeois (at)

The synthesis report was prepared by Robin Bourgeois (GFAR), in collaboration with:

  • the Foresight Inventory Group: J. Ekboir, C. Sette, C. Egal (Bioversity/ILAC)
  • the Write Workshops Facilitation Team: M. Wongtschowski, G. Baltissen (KIT)
  • With comments from Write Workshops participants: E. Alarcon, F. Boulier, B. Shantiko; E. Mathijs, L. O’Brien, V. Palmieri, S. Renwick, T. Ronzon, E. Ruz, W. Thompson, J. Vervoort
  • Global Foresight Hub: M. van den Berg, H. de Haen, B. Hubert

Picture courtesy Robin Bourgeois/GFAR

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