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[EBOOK] Changing Priorities for International Agricultural Research, Robert w. Herdt, Published by CIMMYT


While the research priorities of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) are constantly reviewed by the CGLAR, its Technical Advisory Committee, and each of its 16 research centers situated around the world, it is nevertheless a topic worth addressing for several reasons. First, the world is changing rapidly and research investment today is different from what it was a few years ago. Second, people may be so involved in the management of their organizations that they may find it challenging to see their role in the larger picture. Third, organizations change slowly and reluctantly and sometimes an outsider's voice provides the impetus for changes that mav be too hard to make otherwise.

1 will begin with a few preliminary observations followed by a review of some dramatic global changes of the past two decades that bear on food security. Then 1 will consider arguments for publicly supported efforts to enhance food security and the CGlAR's role in that effort. Finally, I ask whether, in the face of global changes, the CGIAR has appropriately adjusted its activities. In particular 1 ask whether changing global conditions mean that germplasm conservation, intellectual property protection, and crop management research ought to be receiving increased support compared to varietal development. In the process, I will pay some attention to policy and other categories of research, but I do not attempt a full analysis of priorities across all categories of international agricultural research.

I am not advocating abandoning any element in the CGIAR portfolio, nor am 1 suggesting that research productivity cannot be improved through better management of available resources. Neither will 1 suggest anything about any particular organizational form for international agricultural research - a topic that is the concern of the CGlAR's change design and management process.1 Rather, I ask if technological and institutional changes of the past decade may have made the current balance between crop genetic research, crop management research, and other CG1AR enterprises outdated.

[EBOOK] Changing Priorities for International Agricultural Research, Robert W. Herdt, Published by CIMMYT


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