Co-operative Research Programme Conference on Challenges for Agricultural Research
Prague, 6-8 April 2009
Organised by the OECD Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.
Agricultural research continues to confront new challenges, from food security to ecological concerns to land use. This conference highlighted recent major progress in agricultural research outcomes and addressed the challenges that lie ahead. Participants came from all agricultural sectors and included farmers, industry, scientists, decision makers and other stake holders.
"During the last fifty years, agricultural research has been keeping apace of deep human and technological changes in the agriculture and food sectors. Agricultural research, all the while, has also been going through profound transformation as it strived towards new objectives: after production came the transformation of agricultural and food products, food security, consumption, ecological issues and land use planning. Research has reached new heights in biology and it is exploring other disciplines. It is forever changing, as are the needs of the society." (Guy Paillotin, 1996)
Today these words of the former INRA President still provide us with a strong directive as we are facing a complete change in agricultural policy, and an enormous need in strengthening agriculutre regardless of whether its output is directed to food or energy.
The aim of this three-day conference was to highlight the major progress in agricultural research outcomes and addressing the challenges that lie ahead for this research area. This is based on summary presentations of a series of CRP sponsored events that took place during the 2005-2009 period and will serve as the basis for a forward looking discussion on the challenges and opportunities for agriculture research in the changing agriculture and food policy environment. The conference aimed to help in formulating an agricultural research agenda based on policy and societal needs, and included participants from all agricultural sectors/stakeholders, farmers, industrials, scientists and decision makers.
For further information, please contact the Co-operative Research Programme; e-mail: TAD.Prog@oecd.org. Journalists are invited to contact the OECD Media Relations Division: Alison.Benney@oecd.org , tel: +33 1 45 24 80 99.