CGIAR Alliance Calls for Resurgence of Investment in Agricultural Research


3 June 2008: Speaking at the FAO High-Level Conference on

World Food Security, which convened in Rome, Italy, from 3-5 June 2008, Emile

Frison, Chair of the Alliance of Centres supported by the Consultative Group on

International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and Director General of Bioversity

International, said that, among other factors, lack of investment in

agricultural research has contributed to the global food price crises. He

highlighted the importance of such investment, citing a World Bank report on

investment into agricultural development that found “an average internal rate

of return of 43 percent.”

He outlined CGIAR's action plan, highlighting: the need to provide

food aid without creating market distortions; combining high yielding varieties

with low-tech, low-input agriculture; and the need for stress tolerant

varieties and production systems that deliver high and stable yields, against

the background of complex global markets, climate extremes and decreasing

biodiversity. In closing, he called for a “significant resurgence of investment

in agricultural research and development” at all levels, without which the

fundamental problems of the food crisis “will haunt us in the future.” [Statement]

[Conference website]

[IISD RS coverage]