The Program focuses on research in the following areas:
ICARD – Research Arm of IFPRI’s China Program
The International Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (ICARD) was jointly launched by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in 2003. With the sponsorship of both CAAS and IFPRI, ICARD is uniquely positioned to support evidence-based, pro-poor decisionmaking in China, as well as to promote policy dialogue and mutual learning between China and other developing nations. ICARD is the primary research base for IFPRI’s China Program. It focuses on policy research, capacity strengthening, and communication to support the design and implementation of agricultural and rural development strategies that will help achieve food security, poverty and hunger reduction, and overall economic growth in China
Analyzing Global Trends
Urbanization, globalization, technological progress, food safety concerns, and rural industrialization are among the global trends affecting China’s agricultural and rural development sectors. The Program’s research takes a closer look at China’s policies in response to these trends, and their impact on China and the rest of the world.
Improving Local and National Governance
The China Program provides knowledge for policies, institutions, and strategies to improve governance in support of food security and agricultural and rural development. At the national level, governance issues include the need to reform agricultural research and development (R&D) and the extension system and set priorities for public investment strategy and land reform. Governance issues at the local level include land rights, enabling collective action, rural social security, and nutrition and health for vulnerable groups—such as children, ethnic minorities, and women.
Promoting Food Safety and Market Access
The China Program focuses on policy options to see that the benefits of global and integrated food supply chains are passed along to small farmers. It examines market compliance, such as sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures; measures to cope with risk; institutional innovations that involve smallholders; and the potential of public–private partnerships.
Integrating Rural–Urban Development
China has prioritized the development of the nonfarm sector in rural areas, which now accounts for over 60 percent of total income in these communities. The Program studies the experience and mechanisms of rural industrialization, the promotion of rural–urban linkages in China, and policy options for closing income gaps between both rural and urban communities and between coastal and western regions.
Encouraging Sustainable Development
The frequency of extreme weather events in China is increasing, with water scarcity and land degradation constraining future growth, food security, and poverty reduction. The Program explores sustainable policy options and strategies to ensure that China’s farm sector can continue to support economic growth and poverty reduction while minimizing adverse environmental impacts.
Comparing International Approaches
China’s successes and its increased role in global affairs have important implications for other developing countries. The Program’s research focuses on how China and other countries can learn from each other’s experiences in agricultural growth, nonfarm sector development, sustainable development, and poverty reduction.
Gender equality and food security are also explored as cross-cutting research areas within these themes.