Agriculture Research & Development
Farmer's Pride International Investments has an Agricultural Research & Development (ARD) project at its Global HQ in the USA, this is a crucial determinant of agricultural productivity and production and therefore food prices and poverty. Its work is on providing evidence of investments in public agricultural R&D worldwide as an indicator of the prospects for agricultural productivity growth over the coming decades.
The primary role of agricultural research and development is to heighten knowledge and improve technology. It heightens understanding of the interactions and interdependence between production systems and farming communities. This requires a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to problem identification, analysis, and solution-finding. Read more>>>
Prioritizing investment in agricultural research and development will make a wider variety of healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, pulses, seeds, nuts, and animal products available to consumers at lower costs.
Nurturing the biocultural heritage and traditional knowledge that underpins much of the world's remaining agricultural biodiversity, including protecting the rights of women.
Adapting agricultural policies to encourage diversity, nutrition, sustainability, and affordability, rather than focusing on high yields and income thereby prioritizing a small number of staple crops.
Encouraging and implementing technologies to increase the nutrient density of commercial and staple crops through agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology.
FPI-I believes in investing in research to better understand the potential contributions and current constraints of urban and rural agriculture.
Empowering women, improving their livelihoods, and increasing their access to time-saving assets in technology and capital in order to reduce women's work and time burdens in agriculture.
Advocating diversity of cropping systems, crop varieties, and animal breeds as a strategy to increase dietary diversity and to enable farmers to cope with the challenges of climate change, scarce natural resources, and harsh landscapes. Home gardens, intercropping, mixed animal production systems, insect farming, and aquaculture are all viable solutions.
R & D assists in measuring the value chain development:
Agri-food value chains are systemic and cross-cutting by nature. Policy makers and practitioners can be guided by the ten inter-related principles governing those value chains (illustrated in Figure below), leveraging them in achieving a transformational change of their food systems in three phases:
i. Measuring performance: This phase assesses a value chain in terms of the economic, social and environmental outcomes that it actually delivers in relation to an initial vision of what it could deliver in the future.
ii. Understanding performance: This identifies the core drivers of performance by taking into account three key aspects: how stakeholders and their activities are linked to each other and to their economic, social and natural environment; what drives the behaviour of individual stakeholders in their business interactions; and how value is determined in end markets.
iii. Improving performance: This phase follows a logical sequence of actions: developing a specific and realistic vision and an associated core value chain development strategy that stakeholders agree on, based on the analysis conducted in phase 2; and selecting the upgrading activities and multilateral partnerships that support the strategy and that can realistically achieve the scale of impact envisioned (FAO, 2014).
The research and development objectives, partnerships, and institutional structure of the FPI-I evolve around challenges confronted by the world's poor and disadvantaged. Today, productivity improvement and natural resource management are the twin pillars of the FPI-I research on food crops, conservation of genetic resources (biodiversity), forestry and agroforestry, livestock management, aquatic resources, soil and water nutrients, water management, and agriculture-related policies, as well as in its endeavours to strengthen scientific capacity in developing countries
The agricultural R&D world is changing, and in ways that will definitely affect future global patterns of poverty, hunger, and other outcomes. The overall picture is one in which the middle-income countries are growing in relative importance as producers of agricultural innovations through public investments in R&D and have consequently better prospects as producers of agricultural products, although the important role of privately performed R&D gives a substantial innovative edge to the higher income countries where most of this R&D takes place.
Public investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) is important for global food security and environmental sustainability. Although public agricultural R&D projects are associated with high economic returns, they are characterized by long time horizons and temporal lags. The inherent lag, between when R&D investment takes place and when it comes to fruition, implies that its stability is critical. Existing studies on the stability of public agricultural R&D expenditure are restricted to Sub-Saharan Africa and find evidence of considerable volatility in these expenditures when compared to other developing regions. Read more>>>>
FPI-I invests much of its resources in bringing good results as it implement the RUAIPP , for great results we have borrowed ideas from FAO's Agroecology Principles stated on the diagramdiagram below:
Throughout history and in every part of the world, innovation in agriculture has played crucial roles in economic development by increasing farm productivity, enhancing the incomes of poor farmers and making food ever-more abundant and cheaper for consumers, while reducing the demands placed on natural resource stocks. Nevertheless, governments and markets consistently fail to do enough of the right kinds of R&D (research and development)—at least if we are to believe the evidence on rates of return to research—and technological choices on farms are becoming ever-more constrained. Read More>>>>
WHY A-R& D
In the late 19th century public agricultural research institutions were set up in the advanced industrialized nations of today. These paved the way for technological change and transformation in the agricultural systems of these countries (Ruttan, 1982). In the last 50–100 years, dramatic changes in agricultural productivity and production have taken place, driven in large part by investments in public and private agricultural research (Alston and Pardey, 2014). These increases in agricultural productivity have by and large occurred across the globe, encompassing high-income (Andersen and Song, 2013; Khan et al., 2017; Thirtle et al., 2008) as well as middle- and low-income countries (Adetutu and Ajayi, 2020; Fan et al., 2000; Suphannachart and Warr, 2011), and involving their respective public sector agricultural R&D organizations. Today, nearly all countries in some form or another have national agricultural research institutes (Fuglie, 2018).
Thus, public sector agricultural research and development (R&D) has played an important role in increasing agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) across countries (Fuglie, 2018; Rawat and Akter, 2020). These past patterns of growth in agricultural productivity have had important implications for food security and poverty (Alston et al., 2009a). In current times the role for agricultural R&D has expanded further. From boosting agricultural productivity and improving food security, agricultural R&D is now also viewed as a powerful means to ensure environmental sustainability and tackle climate change (Acevedo et al., 2018). The former through interventions and innovations that can minimize ecological damage while increasing productivity (Swaminathan, 2017); the latter through research that focusses on combatting potential threats and adverse effects arising from a mean rise in temperature, and also by mitigating the effects of global green-house gases resulting from agriculture (Lobell et al., 2013).
According to the 2019 Global Agricultural Productivity Report, in order to sustainably meet the needs of an estimated 10 billion people in 2050, global agricultural productivity would need to increase from the current average annual rate of 1.63% to a rate of 1.73% per annum (Steensland, 2019). Given the limited natural resources and degradation of the resources already in use (Fuglie, 2015), increases in agricultural productivity would need to accrue from intensification, i.e. by raising the yield per hectare. This makes the role of public agricultural R&D in raising agricultural productivity critical. Thus, stagnant or declining levels of public investment in agricultural R&D put future agricultural productivity growth at risk (Fuglie, 2015).
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FUNDING
Funding for agricultural research and development (R&D), both public and private, has decreased over the years. The success of the Green Revolution may have resulted in a complacent attitude among funding agencies. Given the recognition of the need for food and the cost of research and development, most people now view this reduction in funding as a huge mistake. Several agencies, NGOs, and private sector firms are now reversing this trend. Private funding plays an important role in taking the new developments to the farmer. However, many of the breakthroughs in research happen in the public sector. An investment in the public sector is essential to create breakthroughs in helping the world meet the food demands of the future.
FPI TASK ON AGRICULTURE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT:
ADAPTIVE CAPACITY AND LOCAL ENGAGEMENT FOR IMPROVING CLIMATE CHANGE OUTCOMES
Agroecological approaches related to co-creation and sharing of knowledge support climate
change adaptive capacity (strong evidence, medium agreement). Multiple lines of evidence show
that engaging with local knowledge through participatory and education approaches are effective
at adapting technologies to local contexts and thereby delivering improved climate change
adaptation and mitigation.
AGROECOLOGICAL TRANSITIONS FOR LARGE-SCALE IMPACTS
Farmer co-creation and exchange of knowledge, community-based, participatory engagement,
localised solutions and social organising are the common components of field programmes for bringing agroecology to scale. Scaling agroecology systems, as opposed to practices, made
more use of participatory and farmer-to-farmer processes and the role of policy, according to the
research. Scaling also relied on market and policy measures that privileged local production.
We recommend Investment in the analysis of performance across multiple dimensions and trade-offs for approaches aligned with agroecology relative to other agricultural development approaches, at plot and farm levels, as well as beyond. This should include cost-effectiveness. Valuation of a range of agroecological benefits can be hard to quantify (e.g., environmental and social benefits), and
economics often reflects the current policy context and short-term horizons.
We recommend investments in an outcome-based approach to assessing the performance of agricultural development. This is to avoid contestation around what is encompassed by a specific label for an agricultural alternative, and instead, assess performance in terms of environmental services and climate change response.
Therefore, evidence-based priority investments is required that include:
The diversification of products and practices at field, farm and landscape levels.
Processes that support farmer innovation, co-learning and adaptation of innovations to local contexts.
Move beyond contestation regarding what is agroecology and alternative labels. Focus instead on assessing outcomes of agricultural development approaches and building on indicator frameworks newly available (TAPE, Sustainable Intensification (SI) Assessment Framework).
To address urgent knowledge gaps, research priorities include:
Barriers and how to enhance opportunities for scaling out of diversification and local adaptation processes, across landscapes and regions, through multiple agricultural development pathways
Research in tropical and low-income countries on climate change adaptation to extreme weather
and quantitative assessment of mitigation outcomes at multiple scales.
Scientific documentation of the effectiveness of agroecological approaches compared to
alternatives, including performance in terms of environmental, social and cost-effectiveness, and
the direction of impact on climate change outcomes.
South-South research collaboration that includes agroecology.