IFPRI Discusses How to Advance Agricultural Development through Knowledge and Innovation

Picture 6The March 2009 policy brief from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) discusses several key areas where increased knowledge and innovation can help progress the world’s level of agricultural development.

Like the Farming First plan, IFPRI’s recommendations include a farmer-centric approach with scaled-up investments and proactive policy changes for research, training, and institutional reform for the sector.

The report notes:

the rural poor draw on indigenous knowledge and innovate through local experimentation and adaptation…. Emerging issues such as high food prices, climate change, and demands for biofuels require complementary knowledge from formal agricultural research and development (R&D) and support from policies and other institutions.

The report continues:

Formal and informal knowledge and innovation must therefore be linked to accelerate sustainable agricultural development.

Sharing and scaling up local knowledge helps maximize agriculture’s potential to improve livelihoods.  For instance, researching drought and flood resistant crops can help those regions already being affected by climate change.  Equally, scaling up successful training and microcredit programmes improves small-scale farmers’ capacity to feed themselves and the rest of the world’s population.