Agricultural practices are constantly progressing, aided by research support and capacity building. As biotechnology begins to reach smaller markets in developing countries, solid evidence on how to make use of it in safe, affordable ways is needed. IFPRI is also involved in evaluating other innovative agricultural techniques and practices.
Key Research and Outcomes from 2011
Nanotechnology is a relatively new area of focus in the agriculture sector and, with it, comes new risks. IFPRI published a policy brief in 2011 (Agriculture, Food, and Water Nanotechnologies: Opportunities and Constraints, that describes the potential for agriculture and food nanotechnologies to increase productivity, reduce post-harvest losses, and improve crop quality, among other advances.
A 2011 food policy report by the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative titled African Agricultural R&D in the New Millennium describes a decade of investment and human resource capacity in agricultural research and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report reveals that although total public agricultural R&D spending and capacity levels in the region have increased in recent years, most of this growth has occurred in just a handful of countries; in many other countries, investment levels have stagnated or decreased and often show a high degree of volatility. ASTI and its partners hosted an international conference on the possible ways to more uniformly increase investments and more consistently enhance capacity.