The first International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, released on April 15, 2008, believes there should be a shift in agriculture to a ‘multifunctional’ style that recognizes the ecosystem service values as well as cultural values of agriculture. It suggests small-scale farming and agriculture free of genetic manipulation can be the answer to soaring food prices, hunger, social inequities and environmental disasters. The report was released at an intergovernmental plenary in Johannesburg, South Africa. “The IAASTD is unique in the history of agricultural science assessments,” said the executive summary, “in that it assesses both formal science and technology and local and traditional knowledge”.
Agro-culture gets its due
by , Down To Earth, 01 January, 2009

A study of Third World agricultural research systems carried
out four years ago jointly by the
International Food Policy Research
Institute (IFPRI) and the International
Service for National Agricultural Service
(ISNAR) concluded that "probably
about a third of the countries
studied have now reached a stage in
the evolution of their agricultural
research systems where the main constraint on their impact is not lack of
money, buildings, equipment, or absolute
lack of trained researchers,
so much as weaknesses in the management
of those resources." Among
problems pinpointed in the study
were the fragmentation of responsibility
among several ministries and
"excessive" dispersion of resources in
an attempt to meet all local needs.
These findings were corroborated by
the FAO/UNDP study already mentioned
which reported that in all 12
countries studied the responsibility of
the ministry of agriculture for research
was shared to some extent
with a diversity of other ministries.

Taken from National agricultural research systems: the management facto, Prof. Juarez Brandao L opes, CERES, 1985