Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of acronyms
 Executive summary
 The triple global challenge
 Setting priorities for researc...
 The research agenda
 Partners in international agricultural...
 Learning from existing collaborative...
 The proposed grean initiative
 Biographical sketches of task force...

Title: Global research on the environmental and agricultural nexus for the 21st century
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053937/00001
 Material Information
Title: Global research on the environmental and agricultural nexus for the 21st century a proposal for collaborative research among U.S. universities, CGIAR Centers and developing country institutions
Physical Description: xiii, 160 p. : ill., 1 map ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
University of Florida -- Office of International Studies and Programs
Publisher: Office of International Studies and Programs at the University of Florida,
Office of International Studies and Programs at the University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1995
Copyright Date: 1995
Subject: Agriculture -- Research -- International cooperation   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Environmental aspects   ( lcsh )
Agricultural productivity   ( lcsh )
Sustainable agriculture   ( lcsh )
Environmental protection   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
technical report   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 149-157).
Funding: Funded by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.
Statement of Responsibility: report of the Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability.
General Note: "University of Florida, Cornell University"--Cover.
General Note: "October 1995"--T.p. verso.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053937
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AKP9327
oclc - 33445390
alephbibnum - 002061229

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    List of acronyms
        Page xi
        Page xii
    Executive summary
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    The triple global challenge
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Setting priorities for research
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    The research agenda
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Partners in international agricultural research
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Learning from existing collaborative mechanisms
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
    The proposed grean initiative
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
    Biographical sketches of task force members
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
Full Text

Global Research on the Environmental

and Agricultural Nexus
for the 21st Century

A Proposal for

Collaborative Research

Among U.S. Universities,

CGIAR Centers, and

Developing Country


Report of the
Taskforce on Research Innovations for
Productivity and Sustainability

Funded by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations


U N I V ER S 1

Global Research on the Environmental

and Agricultural Nexus
for the 21 st Century

A Proposal for

Collaborative Research

Among U.S. Universities,

CGIAR Centers, and

Developing Country

Institutions 4 .-

Report of the
Taskforce on Research Innovations for
Productivity and Sustainability

Uma Lele, University of Florida/World Bank
Ronnie Coffman, Cornell University

. Oii:,

Tlhe Rep i i r .t ornt h li /l in te li. l /b 1 P',' Pr,../CLin I n t a i sit um' l //
\\a- produced and published h% the Office ot Iniernat.inal Studie, and Procram. at the
Lini cirsIi ult Florida, Gia iC', iille. Fliida. USA Thlie co'ei log'- w a, d, iIgncd b\N Blidi n.i
KLInI.r. ,cniloi n. phic desigii studentt in the College ol Fine AnL- at the LniiocrNai of
I lorida

Fifr to'lnilcfll'. injl'rnialn ll .iid .iJitionil c pliei -if tin report.
plea.ie contact

Protle.-or R Ilun Dai\ i. .Ir Coo.rJdinati
Glh.il ReSe.iclh 'n the bi iroiiiine tal .and \2iiculii.al Ne'.I. Inimatiae
(Ofice of InterniatInonl SiudiCe- and.l Plogillaml
IUnol ersit\ of FlI'riid.
123 TiceiL Hall, PO Box\ 11322i
Gjmainelle, FL 32611-3225
Phone- 'i9114i )92-013s6 h.- Oi 4i 492-.6379
EI-mail: GRE.-\NC:Inev\'ni neidc tufi edu
' i.ue code i\ll change on 12-3-95 to 3?2)

O'l.,Ico Iy5


Foreword v
Ismail Serageldin

Preface vi

Acknowledgements ix

List of Acronyms xii

Executive Summary 1

Chapter 1: The Triple Global Challenge: Hunger, Degradation, 11
and Population Growth. A Call for a U.S. Response

U.S. Leadership in the First Green Revolution

Benefits of the Green Revolution to Developing Countries
Benefits of the Green Revolution to the United States

Poverty and Food Insecurity at Century's End
The Daunting Problem of Environmental Degradation
A Call for a Series of Second Green Revolutions

The Importance of Local Agricultural Productivity
The New Research Agenda: Reconciling Sustainability with
Productivity Growth
Changes in Global Economic Relations
The GREAN Initiative

Chapter 2: Setting Priorities for Research 37
Research Priorities of the GREAN Initiative

Three Challenges to Priority Setting
How Important Are Marginal Lands?
From Research to Adoption
Defining Sustainable Agricultural Development
Measuring Sustainability

Chapter 3: The Research Agenda 51
Overview of the Research Agenda

Research Program Area 1: Enhanced Productivity, Food
Security, Nutrition, and Health
Research Program Area 2: Sustainable Use of Soils, Water,
i Forests, and Fisheries

Research Program Area 3: Conservation of Biological Diversity in Natural

and Domesticated Systems

Research Program Area 4: Coping with an Uncertain and Fluctuating Climate

Cross-Cutting Theme 1: Farmer Participation in Research

Cross-Cutting Theme 2: Policy Analysis and Socio-Economic Research

Chapter 4 Partners in International Agricultural Research 81


The New Playing Field

The Global System for Agricultural Research

The U.S. University System

The CGIAR System

The National Agricultural Research Systems

Nongovernmental Organization

o U.S. Foundations: Catalysts for Change

A Vision of the Global Research System

Annex 1. Biotechnology in Developing Countries

Chapter 5: Learning From Existing Collaborative Mechanisms 121


Existing Mechanisms for Collaborative Research

o Criteria for Evaluating Success in Collaborative Research

o U.S.-Led Modalities for Collaborative Research

CGIAR-Led Mechanisms for Collaborative Research

o Inadequacies of Current Collaboration

The Need for Renewed U.S. Support for Institutional Collaboration

Ingredients for Success

Chapter 6: The Proposed GREAN Initiative 137


The GREAN Initiative Mission Statement

Operating Principles

Organizational Structure

e The Two-Stage Application Process

Funding Allocation

Launching the GREAN Initiative

Implications for Other Actors and Donors

References 149

Biographical Sketches of Taskforce Members 158

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability


The 1993 Rio Conference served to heighten
public awareness to the wide range of critical
global environmental issues. The 1994 Cairo
Conference brought the world's surging popu-
lation growth to the public's attention. Less
readily understood, but equally critical to the
future of humankind, is the pressing need for
vastly improving agricultural productivity. To-
gether, these three interlocked issues environ-
mental degradation, the high rate of population
increase in the poorest countries, and the need
to greatly enhance agricultural productivity -
constitute the triple global challenge of the 21st
The core of the triple challenge can be re-
duced to a somewhat deceivingly straight-for-
ward question: how is the world going to feed
a population which is likely to double by 2050
without inflicting even further damage on an
environment that is already under great stress?
Put another way, how can the need for produc-
tivity growth be reconciled with environmental
sustainability, both of which are absolutely vi-
tal to the quality of human life in the long run.
It is imperative to respond to this pressing chal-
lenge now. Procrastination will geometrically
enlarge the difficulty of crafting solutions.
The proposal being put forth by the
Taskforce is timely, relevant, appropriate, and
practical: timely because it relates to similar ini-
tiatives now underway within the World Bank,
the Consultative Group for International Agri-
cultural Research (CGIAR), and elsewhere; rel-
evant because it calls for mobilizing the full
range of scientific endeavor from basic to adap-
tive research to address the needs of poor

households at the local level in the developing
countries; appropriate because it emanates from
a voluntary effort by U.S. universities, is funded
by private U.S. foundations, and stresses the im-
portance of U.S. leadership for an effective glo-
bal response to the triple challenge; practical
because it calls for a more effective approach to
collaborative research among U.S. universities,
the CGIAR Centers, and developing country
The multidisciplinary membership of the
Taskforce included highly experienced indi-
viduals from U. S. universities as well as CGIAR
Center directors general and senior staff, the
CGIAR Secretariat, and representatives of Na-
tional Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in
Africa, Asia, and Latin America. I am pleased
to write a foreword to this imaginative and in-
novative endeavor.

Ismail Serageldin
Vice President, Environmentally
Sustainable Development
The World Bank


Facing Global Challenges
The world today is faced with three chal-
lenges of unprecedented magnitude: (1) hunger,
(2) environmental degradation, and (3) popula-
tion growth. Even taken separately they present
a set of complex and taxing problems; together
they are formidable.
That is why it is now necessary to formulate
and implement an encompassing strategy for
the United States to renew its commitment to
protecting the environment and natural re-
sources while developing agricultural technolo-
gies that will ensure an adequate food supply
for the rapidly increasing global population.
What is required is a strategy that will generate
a major cooperative effort on a grand, coordi-
nated, international scale. The initiative pro-
posed in this report, "Global Research on the
Environmental and Agricultural Nexus for the
21st Century," constitutes such a strategy.
The objective of the GREAN initiative is to
stimulate collaborative research and its rapid
application in the biological, environmental,
physical, and social sciences to address simul-
taneously the problems of productivity growth,
environmental sustainability, and alleviation of
hunger and poverty in the developing world. It
is a long-term strategy one meant to stimulate
and fund consistent effort over a 20- to 30-year
This report explains why the United States
must undertake such an initiative and outlines
the means for its implementation. It envisions
that experts from many fields who understand
the complicated, interrelated problems will
work together to ensure a sustainable future for
the planet and humankind. Many types of

contributors are needed to turn the vision to re-
ality: researchers, farmers, students, political
leaders, foundations, universities, international
institutions, and governments. The initiative
will require political will, creative research, in-
stitutional support, the infusion of new money,
and a resolve to face the challenges ahead with
determination and commitment. The report will
show what can be done and how.

This Report
"Global Research on the Environmental and
Agricultural Nexus" is an outgrowth of the
workshop in May 1993, Reconciling Sustainability
with Productivity Growth. The workshop was
organized by the University of Florida and
Cornell University with funding from USAID in
recognition of the urgent need to increase fac-
tor productivity in developing countries to
eliminate the massive incidence of poverty. The
organizers were aware that given growing en-
vironmental concerns, productive new tech-
nologies must be sustainable in the ecologically
diverse conditions of small farm agriculture in
developing countries. The triple requirements
of productivity, sustainability, and poverty alle-
viation call for innovative new ideas, including
those from the frontiers of science.
The vast U.S. scientific establishment and
particularly the U.S. universities have tremen-
dous potential to work on such problems in col-
laboration with developing country scientists
and with scientists in the Consultative Group on
International Agricultural Research system
(CGIAR). Yet the involvement of U.S. universi-
ties in international agricultural research

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

has declined steadily since the early 1970s, when
the United States contributed substantially to
the generation of the first Green Revolution in
To explore the causes and consequences of
the decline in U.S. involvement, to develop a
consensus on the need for action, and to decide
on the steps needed to achieve it, the Univer-
sity of Florida and Cornell University cospon-
sored the workshop, which involved the par-
ticipation of 120 scientists from 13 major U.S.
land grant universities and 14 international cen-
ters of the CGIAR, several scientists in the na-
tional agricultural research systems (NARS) of
developing countries, representatives of the
CGIAR Secretariat and members of the CGIAR
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), as well
as representatives of international and bilateral
donor organizations and private foundations.
The deliberations of the three-day workshop
in Gainesville, Florida were highly successful.
They led the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations
to finance a follow-up taskforce, whose man-
date was to propose means for operationalizing
some of the ideas which emerged from the
workshop into concrete actions. Guidelines to
the taskforce from the two foundations stressed
that the proposals should derive lessons from
the successful experiences of the past. But the
foundations also urged that the proposals criti-
cally analyze the reasons for past failures in co-
operation between U.S. universities and devel-
oping countries, and reflect upon implications
for future collaborations.
Designated the Taskforce on Research Inno-
vations for Productivity and Sustainability

(TRIPS), the group consisted of U.S. university
scientists, CGIAR center directors general, and
managers of national agricultural research cen-
ters in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The
taskforce met four times and organized itself
into working groups on Substantive Issues,
Collaborative Mechanisms, and Resource Mo-
bilization. The taskforce also called upon oth-
ers with specialized expertise for assistance.
The taskforce released its report in draft form
on the eve of the CGIAR's International Cen-
ters Week in November 1994, circulating nearly
1000 copies worldwide for feedback and com-
ment. The response was tremendous, for many
readers with a broad range of interests took the
time to provide the taskforce with thoughtful
critiques of the draft report. This in turn led the
taskforce to revise and rework the report to
bring greater clarity to its final version.
This report is the outcome of the taskforce's

Endorsements by Professional

Endorsemnents for the GREAN inlati\e have
conme from several major prote.,sional tscsI;I-
lionl thus far
American Agricl llural Econominic Associaton
Amencan Socieir of Agrono, m
e Crop Science Sociel.% of A.-eriLnl
Soil Science Societ\ of Amenric

The Ad Hoc Coalition of Universities
Chancellors and/or presidents of a cross sec-
tion of major land-grant universities have
formed an ad hoc coalition to promote the
GREAN initiative on behalf of all U.S. universi-
ties. Co-chaired by Presidents John V. Lombardi
of the University of Florida and Hunter R.
Rawlings III of Cornell University, the informal
coalition currently includes some 20 universi-
ties and the national association to which they
all belong.

Auburn University
Colorado State University
Cornell University
Michigan State University
National Association of State Universities
and Land Grant Colleges
North Carolina State University
Ohio State University
Oregon State University
Pennsylvania State University
Purdue University
Texas A&M University
University of Arizona
University of California-Davis
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Illinois
University of Kentucky
University of Maryland
University of Minnesota
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
Washington State University

The coalition welcomes additional universi-
ties to its ranks.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability


The members of the Taskforce on Research
Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability
(TRIPS) would like to thank the Ford Founda-
tion and the Rockefeller Foundation for the
funds that supported their work. They are es-
pecially grateful for the continuing interest
shown by Joyce Moock and Robert Herdt of the
Rockefeller Foundation and Walter Coward of
the Ford Foundation.
TRIPS also appreciates the support of the two
lead institutions and their faculties, the Univer-
sity of Florida and Cornell University, each of
which hosted one meeting. TRIPS would par-
ticularly like to recognize President John
Lombardi, E.T. York, Karen Holbrook, and Jim
Davidson of the University of Florida and Dave
Call and Norman Uphoff of Cornell University
for their strong support since the inception of
this effort. Similarly, throughout the delibera-
tions of the taskforce, the colleagues at the
CGIAR Secretariat, particularly Alexander von
der Osten, lent their unwavering support, and
the Secretariat hosted two of the four taskforce
meetings at the World Bank. A debt of gratitude
is also due to the University of Florida's Office
of International Studies and Programs for its pro-
vision of office space, supplies, equipment, and
fiscal and production services.
The taskforce members would also like to
acknowledge the intellectual stimulation they
have received from work on various outside
committees and groups; specifically, Uma Lele
would like to acknowledge many fruitful dis-
cussions with the former chairman of TAC, Alex
McCalla, and members of TAC and of the
CGIAR's Vision Committee and Stakeholders'

Panel on which she served. They have offered
many valuable insights throughout this process.
She would particularly like to thank Ismail
Serageldin, Chairman of the CGIAR, for his
strong support of this endeavor, and Michel
Petit for his unstinting encouragement for
operationalizing GREAN.
Comments and suggestions on the draft ver-
sions of the report were received from Titus
Adeboye, Mohan Agarwal, Randy Barker, Keith
Bezanson, Luakas Brader, Wanda Collins, Gor-
don Conway, Roger Cryan, Carl Eisher, M.
Hosny El-Lakany, Robert D. Emerson, Robert
Evenson, Donald Ferguson, Kenneth Fischer,
Russ Freed, T.J. Flowers, Paul Gibbs, Robert
Goodman, Gretchen Green, Dave Hansen, R.D.
Havener, Geoffrey Hawtin, Franz Heidhues, Ted
Henzell, the late David Hubbell, Theodore
Huller, John Hurley, Keith Ingram, Donald
Isleib, D. Gale Johnson, Bruce Johnston, Jacob
Kampen, John Lewis, Lawrence Libby, Robert
Loomis, C. Peter Magrath, Joan Martin-Brown,
Martin Meltzer, Raymond J. Miller, Cyril
Ndiritu, Gabrielle Persley, Jennifer Philips, Max
Pfeffer, Hugh Popenoe, Per Pinstrup-Anderson,
Henri Rouille d' Orfeuil, Vernon Ruttan, Cynthia
Rosenzweig, Dave Sammons, Andrew Schmitz,
Dennis Shannon, Ken Shaprio, P.W. Simon,
Jimmy Stone, Ravi Tadvalkar, Peter Tigerstedt,
Norman Uphoff, Alberto Valdes, Joachim von
Braun, Ralph von Kaufmann, and Maria Jose
de O. Zimmerman. We would like to express
our profound gratitude for their efforts.
The taskforce also appreciates the input of
David Altmann, Carl Barfield, Randy Barker,
Rick Bernsten, Robert Bertram, Ambassador
Robert Blake, Ralph Cummings, Jr., Dana

Dalrymple, Joe DeVries, David Hansen, P.K.
Nair, and Anita Spring.
Especially valuable contributions came from
Christian Bonte-Friedheim (ISNAR), Louise
Buck (Cornell/CIFOR), Nyle Brady (UNDP),
Peter Gregory (CIP), Jim Henson (Washington
State University), John E. Noisette (ICARDA),
Ed Price (Texas A&M), Marianne Schmink (Uni-
versity of Florida), Larry Stifel (Cornell), Lori
Ann Thrup (World Resources Institute), E.T.
York (University of Florida), and Ester Zulberti
(ICRAF) who served as members of the work-
ing groups and participated in one or more of
the taskforce meetings.
Project associates Marjatta Eilitta and Jim
Gockowski made exceptional intellectual and
managerial contributions to the work of the
taskforce, and particularly to the quality and
timeliness of this report. The taskforce would
also like to acknowledge Mike Martin's substan-
tive contribution to the presentation of this re-
port. Paul Psychas did a superb job of editing,
and Diane Stamm also contributed to this pro-
cess. Kim Box, Holly Hanson, Gillian Hillis, Jim
Meier, and James Wilson provided editorial as-
sistance, Cyndi Aho assisted with the layout,
Chun Wang and Rhodian Devera assisted with
the graphs, and Theresa Gagliano, Ann
Villanueva, and Dedra Smith provided secre-
tarial support. Susan King designed and pro-
duced the report. These contributions are grate-
fully recognized.

Uma Lele
University of Florida

Ronnie Coffman
Cornell University

Taskforce Co-chairs
L'ma Lele
Uni\erit\ of Florida/World Bank
Ronnic Coffinan
Cornell Uni\ersit\

Taskforce Members
[.P. Abrol
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Michael Collinson
CGIAR Secretariat
Larry Harnington
R:lttan Lal
Ohio State Univernit\
Fo\\den Ma\\tell
Te\as A&NM Unli\crsit.
Roberto Martinez Nogueira
lini\er,,t\ of Buenos Aire,
Cal\ in Qualset
lni\ ersit of California at Da\is
Tlhomas, Reardon
Michigan State LUniersity
M.S. Sompo-Ceesay
Eugene Terr\
Hubert Zanditra
Larry Zuidema
Cornell Uil\ersity/ISNAR

Resource Persons
R. Hunt Da\is. Jr.
University of Florida
Sandra Russo
Lini\ersili of Florida

October 17, 1995

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability


ACIAR Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
ADB Asian Development Bank
AFDB African Development Bank
AFRENA Agroforestry Research Networks for Africa
AGERI Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute
ANAFE African Network for Agroforestry Education
ARS Agricultural Research Service
ASARECA Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa
BIFAD Board for International Food and Agricultural Development
BOSTID Board on Science and Technology for International Development
CAAS Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
CARDI Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute
CATIE Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensefianza (Tropical Agricultural Research and
Education Center)
CARICOM Caribbean Community
CCRP Collaborative Crop Research Program
CDC Centers for Disease Control
CFC Common Fund for Commodities
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
CIAT Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (International Center for Tropical Agriculture)
CID Consortium for International Development
CIDA Canadian International Development Agency
CIFOR Center for International Forestry Research
CIIFAD Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development
CIMMYT Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo
(International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)
CIP Centro Internacional de la Papa (International Potato Center)
CIRAD Centre de Cooperation International en Recherche Agronomique pour le D6veloppement
(Center of Cooperation and International Research on Agricultural Development)
CONDESAN Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andes
CRSP Collaborative Research Support Program
CSRC Cooperative States Research Service
EAAFRO East Africa Agricultural and Forestry Research Organization
EAVRO East Africa Veterinary Research Organization
EMBRAPA Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecudria
(Brazilian National Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization)
ERS Economic Research Service
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization
FOA Foreign Operations Administration
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GEF Global Environment Facility
GIS Geographical Information Systems
GNP Gross National Product
GREAN Global Research on the Environmental and Agricultural Nexus
IARC International Agricultural Research Center
ICA International Cooperation Administration
ICAR Indian Council for Agricultural Research
ICARDA International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
ICLARM International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management
ICRAF International Center for Research in Agroforestry
ICRISAT International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
IDB Inter-American Development Bank
IDRC International Development Research Center
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFAS Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (The University of Florida)
IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

IIED International Institute for the Environment and Development
IIMI International Irrigation Management Institute
IITA International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
ILCA International Livestock Center for Africa
ILRAD International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases
ILRI International Livestock Research Institute
INIA Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias
(Institute for Agricultural and Livestock Research)
INIFAP National Institute for Forestry, Agriculture, and Livestock Research
INSAH Institut du Sahel (Sahel Institute)
INTA Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria
(National Institute of Agricultural Technology)
IPGRI International Plant Genetics Resources Institute
IPM Integrated Pest Management
IPR Intellectual Property Rights
IRRI International Rice Research Institute
ISNAR International Service for National Agricultural Research
ISTC Institute for Scientific and Technological Cooperation
LGP Length of Growing Periods
MERGE Managing the Environment and Resources with Gender Emphasis
MUCIA Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities
NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement
NARI National Agricultural Research Institute
NARS National Agricultural Research Systems
NAS National Academy of Sciences
NGO Nongovernmental Organization
NIH National Institutes of Health
NRC National Research Council
NRI National Research Initiative
NSF National Science Foundation
OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
OMB Office of Management and Budget
ORSTOM Institut Frangais de Recherche Scientifique pour le D6veloppement en Coop6ration (French
Institute for Scientific Research for Development and Cooperation)
PESACRE Pesquisa e Extensao em Sistemas Agroflorestais de Acre
(The Agroforestry Systems Research and Extension Group of Acre)
RFLP Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms
RSED Research and Scientific Exchanges Division
SACCAR Southern Africa Center for Cooperation in Agricultural Research
SAES State Agricultural Experiment Stations
SAU State Agricultural Universities
SECID Southeast Consortium for International Development
SPAAR Special Program for African Agricultural Research
SIDA Swedish International Development Agency
TAC Technical Advisory Committee
TP Total Productivity
TRIPS Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability
UDLP University Development Linkages Program
UNAM Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de M6xico
(National Autonomous University of Mexico)
UNCED United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Program
UNEP United Nations Environmental Program
USAID United States Agency for International Development
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
WARDA West Africa Rice Development Association
WHO World Health Organization
WIAD Women in Agricultural Development
WRI World Resources Institute


There is today a vast
technological fault line. On
one side are the fast growing,
adolescent, undercapitalized,
undereducated societies; on
the other the rich, technologi-
cally inventive, yet demo-
graphically aging populations.
The greatest challenge that
global society faces is prevent-
ing this fault line from
erupting into a world-shaking

Paul Kennedy, co-director of the
Independent Working Group on
the Future of the United Nations,
International Herald Tribune
July 24, 1994

Global Research on the Environmental

and Agricultural Nexus

for the 21st Century


This report calls for a United States-
funded initiative, "Global Research on the En-
vironmental and Agricultural Nexus
(GREAN) for the 21st century," reaching a
level of up to $100 million of new money an-
nually within three to five years.
GREAN aims to deploy outstanding U.S.
science on a long-term, predictable basis to
help resolve the pressing global problems of
hunger, environmental degradation, and
population growth. To achieve this, GREAN
would establish a bold new program of competitive
research grants.
The 1992 Rio Conference served to
heighten public awareness to the wide range
of critical global environmental issues. The
1994 Cairo Conference brought the world's
surging population growth to the public's at-
tention. The 1995 Beijing conference under-
lined the need to improve the status of
women. Less readily understood, but equally
critical to the future of humankind, is the
pressing need for vastly improving agricul-
tural productivity, given that even our most
optimistic demographic scenarios predict a
global population of 10 billion by the year
2050. This population will demand to be fed.
Together, these three interlocked issues--
the need to counter the spectre of hunger, the
scourge of environmental degradation, and
the high rate of population increase in the
poorest countries-constitute the most urgent
challenge facing the world community in the
21st century.
The GREAN initiative's mission is to meet
this "triple challenge" by generating a second
generation of green revolutions. Environmen-
tally friendly and location-specific, these

mini-revolutions would improve the liveli-
hood and food security of the poorest people
in the developing world on a sustainable ba-
sis. The intent is to work closely with the
World Bank, foundations, the private sector,
NGOs, and universities in developing coun-
tries to multiply the impact of U.S. involve-
ment. The World Bank has offered to lend up
to $500 million annually to developing coun-
tries for agricultural research over the next
five years, for a total of $2.5 billion. In addi-
tion the World Bank has already committed $2
billion to such research in 92 countries in its
ongoing portfolio.
To maximize the efficiency and the global
impact of research, GREAN envisions U.S.
scientists working in close collaboration with
researchers in the centers of the Consultative
Group for International Agricultural Research
(CGIAR) and the national agricultural re-
search systems (NARS) in developing coun-
tries. A major goal of collaboration would be
to develop the capacity of the NARS to rap-
idly transmit already known and new sustain-
able technologies to poor farm households.
The tasks now facing the developing coun-
tries are so massive that an enhanced effort to
build their capacities is urgently needed. Fu-
ture growth in food and agricultural produc-
tivity will depend on their ability to play a
central role in technology generation and dif-
fusion. The greatest challenge is to help NARS
scientists be productive in their home coun-
tries, where severe constraints impact on their
ability to conduct research and its applica-
tions. The U.S. university system is in a
unique position to provide such assistance
and already has an impressive track record in

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

helping to alleviate hunger and famine in the
developing world.
This initiative is put forward very much in
the spirit which enabled a previous genera-
tion to place a man on the moon and to launch
the first Green Revolution. However the chal-
lenges to science are far greater now. It is not
enough to alleviate poverty and hunger. It is
urgent to do so in a manner that causes the
least harm to, and indeed improves the qual-
ity of, the natural resources on which future
generations will depend.


By the year 2050, experts predict an addi-
tional 4.3 billion people on earth, 95 percent
of whom will live in developing countries.
Already 1.3 billion people live in poverty,
with 75 percent of these located in rural areas.
By the year 2025, the demand for food in de-
veloping countries will more than double. It
will triple by 2050.
How will the increased global population
feed itself? How can rural women, who ac-
count for one half of all farmers, be empow-
ered so that their productivity will be
enhanced, their children's nutrition ensured
and mortality reduced, and their fertility rates
thereby lowered? How can increased food
production be achieved in an environmen-
tally sustainable manner? Where should this
food be produced, and by whom?
Some claim that the United States can feed
the world. The GREAN initiative argues that
much of the increase in food, fiber, and live-
stock production must occur in developing

countries through engaging the poor them-
selves. This is essential for increasing food
security, creating livelihoods, lowering hu-
man fertility rates, protecting natural re-
sources, and establishing a foundation for
long-term and broad-based economic growth
in the countries where most of the world's
poor reside. Such growth constitutes the sur-
est means for stimulating demand for U.S.
goods and services and protecting the world's
precious natural resources.
The first Green Revolution of the 1960s
and 1970s saved millions from starvation,
ranking as one of the greatest scientific and
social achievements of the century. USAID
and its predecessor agencies, in conjunction
with other donor countries, the World Bank,
and the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations,
played a key role in establishing the network
of international agricultural research centers
(IARCs) which evolved into the CGIAR. Uti-
lizing in part the scientific expertise of U.S.
universities, they helped to develop high-
yielding varieties of cereals, trained hundreds
of scientists from developing countries in new
scientific methods, strengthened their agricul-
tural research and educational systems, pro-
moted policy reforms, and ensured that
technology was adopted by small farmers.
The pressures of rapid population growth,
however, have now caught up with the Green
Revolution's gains. Stagnating agricultural
production combined with rampant environ-
mental degradation once again raise concerns
of widespread poverty and hunger, particu-
larly in South Asia and Africa.
In the wake of the first Green Revolution
a new set of second-generation problems has
emerged, including water logging and

Executive Summary

salinization of soils, depletion of groundwa-
ter, soil erosion, loss of crop diversity, con-
tamination of water resources with
agrochemical residues, and multiplying
health hazards. Increasing productivity
growth has become more complex than ever
before since it must be brought about with the
minimum additional use of chemical fertiliz-
ers, pesticides, or water. This poses immense
demands on the scientific community, espe-
cially in the face of looming land and water
Regrettably, while the demands on the glo-
bal agricultural research system are mount-
ing, resources available for such research are
shrinking. Agriculture has become sidelined
in the agendas of traditional donors by con-
cerns for the environment, declining com-
modity prices, complacency in the face of
industrialized-country food surpluses, preoc-
cupations with Eastern Europe, and domes-
tic budgetary problems. Although the Green
Revolution is one of the most successful cases
of U.S. bilateral assistance, the U.S. involve-
ment in international development assistance
generally and in agriculture particularly has
declined. The CGIAR, too, is facing a severe
funding crisis. Expenditures by developing
countries on agricultural research also have
declined following the debt crisis of the early
1980s, leaving a vast number of well-trained
research scientists underpaid and
underutilized. Since all players in interna-
tional agricultural research are under tight
budget constraints, new and more cost-effec-
tive ways must be found to address the for-
midable global problems.

, I:* r":-; : I i; THIE U.INITED
':-- : I r ,

Experience demonstrates that enhanced
agricultural productivity in developing coun-
tries will bring great benefits to the United
States and the world community. The first
Green Revolution in Asia led to broad-based
economic growth, improved political stabil-
ity, and expanded markets for U.S. goods and

* U.S. agricultural exports to developing
countries increased by $9 billion from
1986 to 1993 and created an additional
270,000 U.S. jobs.
* U.S. involvement in international re-
search increased U.S. access to important
plant genetic material from the tropics.
For example, more than two-thirds of the
rice and wheat varieties cultivated in the
United States are derived from improved
germplasm developed at the IARCs; and
a single Ethiopian barley variety protects
the entire $160 million California barley
crop from yellow dwarf virus.
* U.S. scientists working overseas have
helped to internationalize U.S. higher
education while bringing their overseas
experience to bear on similar problems at
* Productivity growth has helped to protect
and maintain global biodiversity because
it has conserved millions of acres of for-
est lands, including rain forests, from ag-
ricultural uses.

In a rapidly integrating and interdepen-
dent world economic and political system, the

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

potential costs to the United States of neglect-
ing the global problems of hunger, environ-
mental degradation, and population growth
are also profound. The costs of neglect would
likely include:

* growing hunger, poverty, and natural re-
source degradation, leading to ethnic and
interregional conflicts in the developing
* increasingly frequent and expensive U.S.
humanitarian and military interventions,
making heavy demands on the U.S. bud-
get and putting U.S. lives in jeopardy;
* the loss of potential markets to the United
States that broad-based and sustainable
economic growth in developing countries
would assure;
* the alarmingly rapid loss of valuable
plant and animal species;
* worsened global warming;
* surging international migration; and
* the spread of pests and diseases which
endanger human health and saddle U.S.
agriculture with billions of dollars in


Science has been a powerful tool for in-
creasing food and agricultural productivity.
Returns to agricultural research have been
impressive. Although the past emphasis on
productivity alone was not enough, neither is
an exclusive stress on environmental con-
cerns. The GREAN initiative outlines a prom-
ising research agenda that can foster chances
of sustainable productivity.

The particular strengths of the U.S. scien-
tific capacity would be harnessed for applica-
tion in developing countries through active
networking and partnerships. The GREAN
agenda aims to exploit recent advances in
genetics, molecular biology, computer and
information sciences, communication tech-
nologies, and legal and policy studies. It en-
visages four highly interrelated research
program areas where collaborating partners
could have great impact in achieving the ul-
timate goal of sustainable development:

* enhanced productivity, food security, nu-
trition, and health;
* sustainable use of soils, water, forests,
and fisheries;
* conservation of biological diversity in
natural and domesticated systems; and
* coping with an uncertain and fluctuating

In addition, two cross-cutting research
themes are proposed:

* farmer participation in research; and
* policy analysis and socio-economic re-

By requiring researchers to address these
themes, GREAN aims to maximize the re-
sponsiveness of research to farmers' needs
and knowledge, and to remove obstacles to
the adoption of research innovations. For ex-
ample, this will encourage adequate recogni-
tion of the role of women and of the true costs
of natural resource use.
The GREAN research agenda reflects a set
of guiding principles which will continue to
shape the choice of research topics even as the

Executive Summary

agenda evolves. According to these prin-
ciples, research efforts should be based on the
relative urgency of problems as viewed by the
rural poor and the likelihood of short- and/
or long-term returns to research. The genera-
tion of new agricultural technologies and sys-
tems is meaningless unless those technologies
are rapidly adopted by poor farmers and
other clientele. Therefore, extensive applied
and adaptive research and outreach activities
constitute crucial components of the GREAN
research agenda.
The GREAN research agenda also recog-
nizes the desirability of building upon the
existing strengths of the collaborating
GREAN research partners. For example:

* The strengths of U.S. universities are their
advanced capacities in basic science,
rapid developments in research methods,
an outstanding track record in the train-
ing of scientists, and the client orientation
of the U.S. research system. Many uni-
versities are also able to make excellent
contributions in strategic and applied
* The greatest strength of the CGIAR cen-
ters lies with their global reach, ability to
convene a large number of international
partners, collection of the world's largest
repository of germplasm, and an impres-
sive traok record in improving
germplasm. The CGIAR centers are the
most important source of improved
germplasm to the NARS.
* The NARS are closest to farmers and lo-
cal problems and are more effective in
applied and adaptive research and exten-
sion. Yet there is great variability in size

and capabilities among the national sys-
tems. Some large NARS conduct excellent
basic and strategic research, while re-
sources barely suffice for adaptive re-
search in others.
GREAN envisages a major mobilization of
U.S. scientific talent for international collabo-
rations across the entire length of the research
continuum: from basic laboratory research
through strategic, applied and adaptive re-


Why should the U.S. scientific community,
particularly its university system, reengage
itself as a leading partner in a new series of
green revolutions? All the reasons are related
to the unique U.S. educational and scientific

* The United States possesses the single
largest pool of scientific talent in the
world, with a total (private and public
sector) annual investment in agricultural
and related environmental research of
over $6 billion. It draws on the research
of 23,000 Ph.D.s in agricultural sciences,
supported by the work of an additional
46,000 Ph.D.s in related fields. In con-
trast, the annual outlay of the CGIAR for
the operation of its 16 centers for agricul-
tural and environmental research,
amounts to slightly more than $300 mil-
lion, and the CGIAR engages about 1,000
* U.S. universities have a proven track
record in research, education, and train-
ing, not just at home, but in addressing
international problems.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

* The United States is the world's largest
external provider of higher education to
nationals of developing countries.
* There is a substantial reservoir of U.S.
university researchers who are keenly in-
terested in tackling international issues.
* Advances in fields such as molecular bi-
ology, ecology, sociology, and economic
theory have vastly expanded the alterna-
tives for addressing the problems of pov-
erty and hunger. As a world leader in
these fields, the U.S. scientific community
can play a pivotal role in bringing new
knowledge to bear in solving global prob-
* Apart from humanitarian considerations,
the growing prosperity of an increasing
number of developing countries and the
rapid technological advances in the U.S.
suggest a great potential for marketing
U.S. scientific services. GREAN can play
a catalytic role in developing the poten-
tially vast market for scientific transfers
and knowledge in parts of the world
where U.S. presence in research has di-

AOi ii *' RAf "..T'i

Recent developments have created favor-
able conditions for collaborative research
among scientists scattered across the globe.
Communications technology, inexpensive air
travel, and computerization have brought
phenomenal improvements in the efficiency
of information exchange.
Collaboration can reduce research costs,
allowing partner institutions to acquire

research services from others who specialize
in them. Effective collaborative research
plays up the relative strengths and evolving
potential of each partner, thereby capturing
economies of scope and scale. Strengths are
balanced against weaknesses for the most
cost-effective relationship.
The best of the existing programs for col-
laborative research demonstrate the potential
efficiency and productivity of collaboration
among U.S. universities, CGIAR centers, and
NARS institutions. Yet, the mechanisms cur-
rently in place suffer from limited scope and
grossly inadequate scale. They are hindered
by unpredictable, short-term funding and
uncertain political backing. The tendency to
neglect NARS capacity building also limits
their impact.

? _l '.". 11,'. i -.: -. ,i 5 ;...; ,-, .- ,:- .
f '-a i',, 1 .'. 1 ; 2= I4'.

The GREAN program of competitive re-
search grants utilizes a well-proven, cost-ef-
fective mechanism for bringing high quality
scientific knowledge and methods to bear in
collaborative, disciplinary, and
multidisciplinary research on crucial prob-
lems on a consistent, predictable, and long-
term basis. Complementing already
established and ongoing research efforts, a
peer-review based competitive process pos-
sesses the merits of flexibility and adaptabil-
ity, of stimulating the interest ofa broad range
of scientists, and of balancing established
avenues of scientific enquiry with new and
innovative approaches. The proposed
GREAN program would become fully func-
tional with an annual budget of approxi-
mately $100 million.

Executive Summary

CA.MN GC-RECA RN BE 1 A. 11 ,,C 'i-0 r i

VCDO lAi r JTIC fS t --E4! ()AM1

The taskforce believes that the magnitude
of the problems requires a response on the
part of U.S. foundations and the government
commensurate with the size of the challenge.
The $100 million that the taskforce is propos-
ing is quite modest when it is considered that
it implies an expenditure of less than 10 cents
for each of the 1.3 billion people currently liv-
ing in poverty; it is just 1 cent per projected
inhabitant of planet Earth in the year 2050.
U.S. contributions are also likely to elicit ex-
penditures by developing countries from
their own resources and from loans, credits,
and grants provided by the World Bank and
other donors, with multiple effects on global
income and trade.
The TRIPS taskforce believes that $10 to
$15 million in new money is needed to launch
GREAN on a pilot basis during a three to five
year transition prior to full federal funding.
The focus of the pilot program would be on
helping augment the links along the con-
tinuum of basic to adaptive research; demon-
strating GREAN's impact; and undertaking
the educative process necessary to demon-
strate the need for establishing a full-fledged
GREAN on a long-term basis.
Even in the current context of highly con-
strained budgetary resources in the United
States, the taskforce believes that the seeds for
the long term must be sown now. It therefore
proposes to begin the pilot program by bring-
ing together existing and proposed competi-
tive activities of those foundations,

corporations, and government agencies
which are already addressing similar issues,
albeit in a partial manner. Depending on
funding prospects, the pilot phase might well
concentrate on just one of the four proposed
research program areas. Such a transitional
effort would also stimulate the World Bank
and other donors to finance collaborative ac-
tivities. Congressional funding for full pro-
gram implementation could then proceed
with assurance.


The competitive grants program would
operate on a set of guiding principles cover-
ing (1) the use of financial resources in a cost-
effective manner, (2) the desired collaborative
nature of the formal research, and (3) the de-
sired content and scope of that research from
the viewpoint of impact. The program would:

* fund innovative research programs con-
sistent with the research agenda for the
21st century;
* involve scientists from all three partner
institutions engaged in true tripartite col-
laboration in setting research priorities,
preparing proposals, and conducting re-
* assign high priority to problems per-
ceived by NARS as needing immediate
attention (proposals would include ex-
plicit measures to strengthen NARS ca-
pacities to design and implement their
own research agendas);
* provide program grants that, depending
on the nature of the research problem,
would range from $50,000 to several

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

million dollars per year and would last
for phased periods of three to ten years;
* demand high standards of scientific and
financial accountability; and
* demonstrate visible impact in meeting
farmers' needs by insisting that research
results be translated into adoption.

To enhance prospects for technology
adoption, GREAN would give funding prior-
ity to locales where conditions would encour-
age researchers to link with development
programs and extension services.
The management of GREAN would in-
volve a governing board, a director, and sci-
entific panels to review research priorities.
The director's office would develop methods
for actively increasing information flow
among scientists and their clientele and to
stimulate research partnerships.

AN iINt I ATfrN TO OT-i;r::F

TRIPS has purposely focused its attention
on stimulating far greater U.S. engagement in
addressing global challenges. Correspond-
ingly, this report focuses primarily on the
past, present, and future role of the United
States in international agricultural research.
Nevertheless it is important to recognize
that a large number of other industrialized
countries provided support for launching the
CGIAR system and building NARS capaci-
ties. International agricultural research con-
tinues to receive major backing from private
and public agencies in Japan, Germany,
Canada, the U.K., France, and Australia,
among others.

Implicit in the GREAN initiative is an
invitation to the institutions and scientists of
other industrialized countries to join with
their U.S. counterparts in a closer global
alliance with the CGIAR system and NARS.


A fundamental premise of the GREAN
initiative is that a collaborative approach to
research which draws on the strengths and
resources of each partner institution consti-
tutes a direct, effective way to deal with the
daunting triple challenge of world hunger,
environmental degradation, and population
growth. In an increasingly interconnected glo-
bal economy, the enhancement of food pro-
duction, incomes, and security of the poor in
developing countries is in the direct national
interest of the United States and other indus-
trialized countries.

Executive Summary

Now that so much
more is known about the
ecological consequences of
some modern agricultural
practices, we need a second
Green Revolution that will
focus on the needs of the
Third World's poor,
increase the productivity of
small farms with low input
agricultural methods, and
promote environmentally
sound policies and

Vice President Al Gore
Earth in the Balance, 1992







A Call For a U.S. Response



U.S. Leadership in the First Green Revolution

Benefits of the Green Revolution to Developing Countries

Benefits of the Green Revolution to the United States

Poverty and Food Insecurity at Century's End

The Daunting Problem of Environmental Degradation

A Call for a Series of Second Green Revolutions

The Importance of Local Agricultural Productivity

The New Research Agenda: Reconciling Sustainability
with Productivity Growth

Changes in Global Economic Relations

e The GREAN Initiative


In only half a century the world population
will reach 10 billion. Of the additional 4.3 billion
expected by 2050, 95 percent will live in devel-
oping countries-where over three-fourths of the

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produiies garpirs in the'

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global population already resides
(see Figure 1-1). Food demand in
developing countries will more
than double by the year 2025, and
could triple by 2050 (see Figure 1-
2). Indeed, by the year 2025, devel-
oping country grain requirements
will be more than three times the
current size of the entire U.S. har-
vest. More than half of the growth
in demand will be to feed the
world's rapidly expanding urban
The 1992 Rio Conference, the
1994 Cairo Conference, and the
1995 Beijing Conference have fo-
cused international concerns on the

increase from the 1992 global average of 2.8
metric tons per hectare to 4.2 metric tons per
hectare simply to maintain the 1992 status quo
on a per capital basis, since there is little likeli-
hood of increasing the area under cultivation.
This reality raises questions for the very future
of the planet and humankind.
How will this increased global population
feed itself, when 1.3 billion people in develop-
ing countries already are unable to afford a nu-
tritionally adequate diet? Can fertility rates be
lowered and population growth slowed? Can
increased cereal yields on the order of 50 per-
cent possibly be achieved in an environmentally
sustainable manner? Where should this food be
produced, and by whom?
In the middle decades of the 20th century,
scientific advances in agriculture (see Box 1-1)
helped provide temporary answers to such
questions. After the Second World War, great
increases in food production flowed from rapid
progress in the scientific understanding of soils
and crops, coupled with focused efforts to

ment, popu-
lation dynamics and the
status of women. Much
less concern has been
raised over the daunting
task of feeding the ex-
pected future population.
Most population experts
agree that even with the
best population policies
the current global demo-
graphic structure will
lead inevitably to a popu-
lation of around 8 billion
in 2025. Cereal grain
yields would then have to

10 G
8 A

6 P
4 L

Figure 1-1. A Profile of Population Growth
42 billion

- I


I n .ll .:.,-I I 2 0

500 1000 1500 2000 2200
variant projection that assumes declining future fertility rotes.
Source: United Nations Population Fund, 1994

0 A.D.
Note: Medium

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

IFigure 1-2. Projected Cereal Production and Imports Versus Total Cereal Needs, 2025. 1

West Asia & North Africa

Latin America & the Caribbean

Sub-Saharan Africa


All Developing Countries

0 Production

0 Imports Q Gap

/// _

0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000
millions of metric tons

Cereal gap defined as difference between projected market demand
(production plus imports) and the quantity of cereal required to provide
4,000 calories per capital per day. Per capital requirement includes live-
stock and human consumption needs, and storage and handling losses.

Source: Hazell et al., 1994

increase productivity through breeding and im-
proved crop management. U.S. leadership was
critical to the success of this Green Revolution,
which saved millions from starvation and laid
the foundation for economic growth in much of
the developing world. Ranking as one of the
greatest scientific and social achievements of the
century, the Green Revolution benefitted both
developing countries and the United States
Yet the Green Revolution, like all revolu-
tions, brought its own problems. It bypassed
millions of resource-poor farmers and had un-
intended environmental and social conse-
quences. Moreover, the unrelenting, interlinked
pressures of hunger and poverty, environmen-
tal degradation, and growing population are
now menacing the gains of the 1960s and 1970s;
they threaten global crisis in the 21st century.
The situation challenges the U.S. scientific com-
munity to become reengaged as a leading

partner in a much needed series of new, environ-
mentally sustainable green revolutions.
In this first chapter of the Taskforce on Re-
search Innovations for Productivity and
Sustainability report, we examine the triple
challenge of hunger, environmental degrada-
tion, and population growth in the diverse
regions of the developing world and outline a
proposal-Global Research on the Environmental
and Agricultural Nexus (GREAN)-to address it
in an international context vastly changed from
that of the first Green Revolution. Key elements
of the proposed response to this challenge will
be explored. As we aim to demonstrate, the po-
tential future benefits of success in a new series
of green revolutions are enormous-for both the
United States and developing countries. To be-
gin, we review the United States' past success
in providing leadership in international agricul-
tural research and development.

Chapter One

Box 1-1. The Definition of Agriculture
The term "agriculture" J t\plcall. used in the
United States and in thi' report encomnpas .es "the
entire \s'tem that gro\'s. process. and provides
food and fiber foi the globe. It includes: the man.
agement of lattiral re`so rce' utich a, surfa'e and
ground afterr foles!t, oihei land, toi commercial
o1 iee rejatinal uses. and I ildlite. the ioci.al. phl,,i-
cal. and biological cn\ ironmenin : and the piullic
police. i,-'ue' thit relate to the s,.stein All the ac-
ti% ies. pranliccs. and proc-,e -it ith public and
prliale sectors Intlol\ed in ad'ri.cul ture and tor-
etir\ are contained % ilhin the s itern INational
Research Council. 1904l
In developing counliies the social entiron-
nient olten poses e\en greater challenge' tu agri-
cultural productivity growth ihan do the physical
or the bioolgical en'ironmients. For instance. uni-
\ersal primary. education is >till not a norm among


In the 1950s and 1960s, the United States
Agency for International Development
(USAID) and its precursors, along with U.S.
private foundations, were the dominant actors
in the international aid scene. By actively engag-
ing U.S. land-grant universities, they brought
the science-led intensification of agriculture to
small farmers in developing countries on a scale
sufficient to prevent widespread malnutrition
and famine. The increased production from
improved seed and fertilizer technologies in
developing countries contributed significantly
to the extraordinary 1.4 billion metric ton in-
crease in global cereal production witnessed
since the end of the Second World War.
The modern agricultural research capacity in
developing countries, which produced the
miracle varieties of the Green Revolution, was
established with U.S. assistance at both the

farming communillllie in developing countries. and
the \w widespread incidence of communicable dis-
eases such a, malaria and most recenil AIDS in-
hibits both the quantim and quality. uf the labor
input in agriculture. Women pla\ a critical role as
managers and suppliers of labor, but due to a broad
and ar ing conmbinainon of economic, social. po-
litical. and cilttiral reason- thc\ often ha\e little
access to oi knowledge of modern technologies.
finance. or input, Neither i: viomnen's valuable
tr.di tional knowledge adequatel. utilized in de-
\eloping modern technologies
Tlie scope of agricultural research and elten-
sion thus mut be broad enough to encompass all
relevant aspects of agricultural systems. including
the appropriate health and social sciences.

national and international levels. The Ford and
Rockefeller Foundations initiated the first inter-
national agricultural research centers, the Inter-
national Maize and Wheat Improvement Cen-
ter (CIMMYT) and the International Rice Re-
search Institute (IRRI), where the improved
semi-dwarf varieties of wheat and rice were de-
veloped. When the financial needs of an ex-
panding international agricultural research sys-
tem became too large for the foundations, the
U.S. government undertook to provide one-
fourth of the support for international agricul-
tural research through the creation in 1971 of
an international consortium of donors, the Con-
sultative Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR) (see Box 1-2). As the major
bilateral donor in the 1960s and 1970s, the
establishment of an agricultural research system
in the developing world was a major accom-
plishment of U.S. leadership.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Agricultural research capabilities in devel- helped to create a significant infrastructure of
oping countries were strengthened by invest- human capital and institutions in developing
ments in facilities, provision of scientific exper- countries.
tise, and massive graduate training of nationals The breakthrough technologies and systems
at U.S. land-grant institutions with the financial of the Green Revolution, developed in the 1960s
support of the United States, the World Bank, and 1970s, resulted from intense collaborative
and other donors. Agricultural universities efforts among scientists from U.S. land-grant
were established and patterned after the suc- universities, the newly established International
cessful U.S. land-grant model. These efforts Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs), and the

Box 1-2. History of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

The Consuitatie Group on International A''-
iicriLltLi.il Ree.irch ICGIARi is an infoiin.il a.-m -
cuation of more than 40) public and private sector
donors that stuppotis a nertork of lb Internaiiion.l
Agricultural Research Center IIARCsi committed
to ineeiinn the food rered' of developing cO .'intrie,
The Group "a_, established in 1971 and is spon-
woied b\ the \\ rld Bank. the Food and Agriculluie
Organization iFAOi. and the United Nations De-
%elopment Program IUNDPj LINEP hecmrne a co-
sponsor in 1995.
Alter establishing CIMMYIT and IRRI. the
Rockefeller and Ford Foundations established t\\o)
additional IARCs-lhe Interiational In.lsitute of
Tropical Agriculture IIITA in Nigeria and the In-
lernational Center for Tropical Agin tltuie iCIATi
in Colombia By the late 1960s. the financial re-
quirements of the loul IARCs had e,\cedcd the
combined financial capacity of the Rocketeller and
Ford Foundations. Under the leadership ot Robett
McNamara. then President of the World Bank.
consultaiions on alteinati\c tilnidinl mechani-imst ;
\\ere held in 1969 between the World Bank and
LISAID \nith participation from FMAO :ind LUNDP
The LISAID administrator, John Hannah. comnmit-
ted the U.S. government to lunidini 25 percent of'
the budget for the CGIAR. That pledge \\as fol-
loI~ed bN commitments from other bilateral and
multilateral aid agencies and the World Bank
iRuttan. 19951. By 195 U.S. contributions had
dropped from 25 percent to about 10 percent.

Consistenilr strong financial support and
leadeishp ha:e been piot ided bh\ Canada.
Japan. Germann and other Countines in Western
IFurope Japan is nro\ the second largest donor
to the CGIAR. The Canadian International
De\elopmeni Resealch Center i[DRCI \%.as a
founding member of the CGIAR and continues
to pla\ piomineni role in tile system.
Leadership for the Group comes froin the
World Bank, \~hose \ice president in charge of
agriculture chairs the CGIAR system. The
CGIAR secretariat is located in Washington. DC.
Technical guidance to the Group is provided
tluouelh the Technical Ad'isor) Committee
TACi. which consists of a chairperson and 12
scientist mneinbers,. \with a secret iiat based at the
Food and Aericultural Organization iFAO.O in
Rome. tinder\ written by F-\).
The b1 IARCs supported by the CGIAR cur-
tentl\ engage oe some 1,0001 top-quaililt scientists
around the world. Through fite broad categories
of proiramnis-namlell ( II pernlplasm conservation.
121 enhancement of management of natural re-
sources. 131 improi\ ng the police en\'noninent. 141
institution building, and 15) building research link-
aces-these scientists ha\ce had considerable suc-
cess in increasing food productivity and farm in-
conmes. reducing food prices. impro\ uig food dis-
tribution systems and food policies, and in build-
ing stronger research institutions in developing

Chapter One

National Agricultural Research Systems
(NARS). Exciting developments at the IARCs,
supported by basic and strategic research in
U.S. universities, enabled progress in improving
yield potential and management techniques
that could hardly have been imagined in the
1950s. The NARS in developing countries, in-
cluding their universities, played a crucial role
in adapting the technologies provided by U.S.
scientists and international centers to local
conditions while developing their own capaci-


In Asia and Latin America, the adoption by
farmers of the "miracle" wheat and rice variet-
ies increased food security and rural employ-
ment while lowering prices. This resulted in
broad-based rural development which released
capital and labor for the development of the
non-farm sector (Johnston and Mellor, 1961).
Agriculturally successful Asian countries such
as Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and India are
now among the world's most dynamic econo-
mies, providing stimulus to global economic
growth and trade.
In summary, the Green Revolution provided
the following benefits to developing countries:

* increased the real incomes and nutritional
status of the poor by reducing food prices;
* enhanced productivity and thus the real
wages of agricultural workers;
* freed labor for and provided lower cost
food surpluses to the non-agricultural sec-
* increased global trade;

* preserved large expanses of land unsuited
for cultivation from deforestation and deg-
radation by intensifying production on
more productive lands (the CGIAR has cal-
culated that for India to have produced its
1991 wheat output with the pre-Green
Revolution technology of 1961 would have
required 40 million additional hectares, an
area equivalent in size to the state of
California) (Tribe, 1994); and
* reduced human fertility rates and slowed
population growth to such an extent that
new technology successfully increased the
value of rural women's time.


U.S. investment in the first Green Revolution
has been amply rewarded by multiple eco-
nomic, political, and scientific benefits to the
United States, whose value far exceeds the ini-
tial costs incurred. Perhaps most importantly,
the Green Revolution helped to transform coun-
tries which were once dependent on U.S. food
aid into large and growing markets for U.S.
goods-including, paradoxically, U.S. agricul-
tural commodities (see Box 1-3). The develop-
ing countries as a group now represent a larger
market for U.S. goods than do the European
Community and Japan combined (Schuh, 1986).
The Green Revolution has also made an
enormous contribution to the productivity of
U.S. agriculture. Over two-thirds of U.S. wheat
and rice acreage is sown with improved variet-
ies containing germplasm developed at
CIMMYT in Mexico and IRRI in the Philip-
pines-the two international research centers

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Box 1-3. The Paradox of Agricultural
What explains the parade, that developing
countries wbch succeed in agricultural develop-
ment tend to rapidly increase theii agricultural
Low-income rural households h hose in-
comes expand when broadbased agricultural
growth occurs spend a larger proportion of their
increased income on food and Lduriculturll\
based goods and services thin do high income
consumers in industrial countries. Agricultural
growth also stimulate, employment in the
nonagricultural sector through increased de-
mand for goods dnd r services from the non-ari-
cultural sector iLele and Mellor. I 81) High
population grow th coupled \ith strong and sus-
tained increases in per capital income and high
income elasticity\ of demand for food make it dif-
ficult for the agricultural sectors of developing
countries to meet the increase' iiI fuod delnlnd.
For example. while per capital food production in
A. ia increased b\ 2'0 percent in the 191s.0,. A.4,a'
total agricultiur.il imports from 198l 6 to 192 in-
creased bN $39 billion (74 percent to a le\el of
$92 billion (FAO, 19941.
Another important point to note is that coun-
tries with the highest growth in agricultural ex-
ports often have the highest growth in imports
as \well. Hence, agricultural progress, rather than
precluding. agricultural imports. often increases
them i.Schuh, 19861.
This phenomenon helps to explain why in the
seven years from 1986-92, U.S. agricultural ex-
ports increased by $16.4 billion (USDA/FAS.
1994,. with 55 percent of the increase originating
in developing countries isee Figure 1-31. A recent
study estimates that each $1 billion in agricul-
tural exports leads to the creation of 25.,.000 to
30.0() jobs, suggesting that oser a quarter ot a
million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in
seven years because of increased food exports to
developing countries (Pinstrup-Anderson. et al..

Figure 1-3. U.S. Agricultural Exports, 1986 to 1993.

billions $

40- Total Ag Exports


20 Developed Countries
0 Developing Countries

10 Asia (exci. Japan)
Latin America
86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Year

Source: USDA/FAS, Foreign Agricultural Trade of the United States.

most responsible for the germplasm leading to
the Green Revolution. Indeed, the centers of the
CGIAR are the world's largest depositories of
The first Green Revolution provided the fol-
lowing benefits to the United States:

* created substantial employment and in-
comes in the U.S. by increasing exports (see
Box 1-3);
* increased U.S. access to important plant ge-
netic material;
* preserved marginal lands, including
rainforests, by intensifying production on
the better agricultural lands in developing
countries, thereby protecting global
biodiversity, maintaining habitats for birds
and animals, and slowing global warming;
* provided rural livelihoods to millions in
developing countries, thereby slowing rates
of urban and international migration from
developing countries;

Chapter One


* controlled the spread of pests and diseases
that can cause billions of dollars' worth of
harm to agricultural industry and human
population in the United States; and
* reduced the U.S. burden of international
military and humanitarian support by im-
proving political stability.


At the beginning of the first Green Revolution
the utmost need of many developing countries
was to produce more food, quickly. In more re-
cent years, the needs and capacities of develop-
ing countries as a group have become more di-
versified as a result of their variable growth
performance. For instance, the capacity to trade
for food on international markets has been
greatly strengthened in Asia. Yet in Africa,
shortfalls in the capacity to both produce and
purchase food remain dominant concerns. In
Latin America and Africa the need to restore
Figure 1-4. Regional An
balance through 1965 to 1992
expenditure re- percent
ductions has jeop- East
ardized the re- 8
search capacity of 6
the public sector.
East Asian coun- 4
Sub-Saharan .
tries have experi- 2 Africa
enced both consis-
tent and acceler- 0 -
ated per capital -2 K
growth. A large
part of their suc- -4
cess is due to Sourc

equitable growth in their agricultural sectors.
Growth in all other regions of the developing
world has been both slower and more variable.
For instance, the rate of per capital GDP growth
in Latin American countries declined steadily
between 1965 and 1989, but then rebounded in
the 1989-92 period (see Figure 1-4). In South
Asia, per capital growth rates were lower, yet
improved consistently in the 1965-89 period.
Per capital GNP in the Middle East and Africa
has declined significantly in each successive pe-
Today, over 60 percent of the world's poor
live in the largely agrarian countries of South
Asia and sub-Saharan Africa where roughly
two-thirds of the population depends on agri-
culture for their employment (see Figure 1-5).
Women and children continue to suffer dis-
proportionately the ills of low production,
unemployment, and poverty throughout the de-
veloping world. Some 184 million preschool
children (one in three) are afflicted by protein-

nual Growth in Real Per Capita GDP,

Middle East &
North Africa

South Asia

Latin America
ey: H1965-73 & Caribbean
[] 1973-80
] 1980-92

e: World Bank Development Report 1994

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Box 1-4. The Links Between Gender, Agricultural Research,
and Development

The need for technical innovations that \will
enhance the productivity of women farmers goes
right to the heart of the issues ot population
growth and en\ ronmnentall. sustainable de elop-
inent. Yet investment in agricultural eseLarch and
technology clearly is not enough to address
women's problems.
In addition to their crucial roles s agricultural
producers. rural \women also spend an inordinate
amount of time in household chores such as dra\w-
ing water. gathering firewood, and food process-
inm and preparation. Inno\ actions to reduce the la-
bor demands of these chores. utich as fuel cfticient
stoves, can allow women the time to pursue other
income generating .acti\ cities.
A strong research effort focused on improving
\omnen's econlnoic status is crucial to itnpro\ ing
their own welfare and that of their children.
Women spend more income on their children's
education and health than do men. and it has been
shown consistently\ that the higher their earnings.
the lower their fertility rates. Access to affordable

energy malnutrition. Nearly 370 million women
between the ages of 15 and 49 suffer from ane-
mia, which is especially severe in South Asian
countries such as India, where an estimated 88
percent of women are affected. As women con-
stitute almost one-half of all farmers, their suc-
cess in agriculture is crucial to improving the
quality of children's lives as well as reducing the
number of new births (see Box 1-4).

Poverty and Food Insecurity in Africa
Problems in sub-Saharan Africa are the most
complex and pressing. Nearly 70 percent of the
African population lives in rural areas, where
two out of three people live in poverty (UNDP,
1994). Three-fourths of the countries in sub-Sa-
haran Africa experienced declines in per capital
food production in the 1980s (see Table 1-1).

credit for w omen is important for capitalizing
non-farm rural enterprises such as food market-
ing and small-scale processing. as shown bh the
Grameen Bank in Bangladesh IHossain. ls88i.
A concerted effort at improvinr the eco-
nomic. health, legal and social status of %\omen
and children through police\ reforms is needed
to empow ei \women Increased educational op-
portunities for rural \women. as called for in the
recent UN population conference in Cairo. are a
necessary and complementary element in this
strnaeg. Woiien', education stands 0ott a, the
most consistent factor affecting human teittilit
rates and has been positl\el. associated with
their productivit\ as farmers IMoock. 1976;
Bongi arls. 1941i. Public lihc lth mein ures ad-
dressed towaids reducing child mortality also
lover fertlit) rates
In short it is abundantly clear that, in order
for sustainable development to occur. a *harp
focus on a population police) and the status of
women farmerss is a Fine quio non.

Though demand for food imports has increased,
Africa's import capacity has diminished, with
sharp declines in the 1980s in the real prices of
its primary commodity exports and declining
export volume. Poor macroeconomic and
sectoral policies, which discriminated more
strongly against agriculture in post-indepen-
dent Africa than in any other developing region,
contributed to its food insecurity and export
stagnation (Kruegar, et al., 1991). As a conse-
quence of these and other factors, levels of food
aid doubled during the 1980s (World Bank,
1993). Africa's declining per capital income and
per capital food production are indicative of a
rapidly widening technological gap and stag-
nant or declining agricultural productivity (see
Figures 1-4 and 1-6).

Chapter One

Recent policy reforms combined with new
technology and more favorable weather pat-
terns, however, have resulted in a turn-around
in productivity in several countries (Masters
and Sanders, 1995). At the same time, the imme-
diate impact of some economic reforms has
been negative; for example, small farmer access
to fertilizers has declined seriously in several
African countries that have devalued their cur-
rency and liberalized fertilizer markets

Figure 1-5. A Profile of Poverty in the
Developing World

World Population

Developing Countries

\ Developed
.... : - .

(in Developing World)
SEast Asia
/ 40%

( South Asia
-" Mddle East
Sub-Saharan & North Africa
Africa 11% 8%
East Asia
SouthAsia Latin
\ America
S 1 7%
SMiddle East,
S-1 & NorthAfrica
Sub-Saharan 6%
Africa 16%

Source: World Bank Development Report 1990

(Reardon, et al., 1994). There is much still to be
learned and accomplished in devising success-
ful economic policies and rural public invest-
ment strategies in the various African contexts.
The large scale irrigation projects which en-
abled the adoption of high input rice and wheat
technology in Asia are neither economically fea-
sible nor environmentally desirable in Africa.
Yet there is substantial scope for small and me-
dium scale irrigation projects, moisture conser-
vation, and water harvesting techniques. Poor
soil fertility constrains yields in much of Africa
where average fertilizer use is only 12 kilograms
per hectare (see Figure 1-7). As the fallow period
in bush-fallow systems declines with increasing
population, soil fertility losses from continuous
cropping in the humid tropics are enormous.
The need for a combination of improved crop
rotations, use of crop residues, and increased
small farmer access to chemical fertilizers is a
high priority. Rural roads are critical to the ef-
fective functioning of rural markets. In Nigeria,
for example, the density of all-weather rural
roads in 1985 was less than one-fifth that of
India's in 1950, although the 1985 Nigerian
population density was comparable to that of
India in 1950 (Gavira, et al., 1989). Many Afri-
can scholars are arguing that the infrastructure
gap is unlikely to be bridged between Asia and
Africa in the next quarter century (Spencer,
1994). Without the necessary infrastructure,
small farm agriculture cannot develop. Yet
without increased agricultural productivity, the
vast resources needed to fund rural infrastruc-
ture will be difficult to generate.
African agriculture is more dependent than
Asian on less fertile soils and low and uncertain
rainfall. Developing technologies suitable for

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

the highly diverse and Figure 1-6. Region;
mostly harsh ecological 1970 to 1993
conditions with which 1969-71=100
most resource-poor Af-
140 -
rican farmers contend
has proven to be a diffi- 130
cult challenge (Eicher, 120
1982). Given Africa's
nascent agri-chemical 110
input markets and inad- 100
equate rural infrastruc-
90 -
ture, new crop varieties
and associated tech- 80-
nologies in Africa need
70 -
to rely even more '70 '75
heavily on improving Africa
the farmers' existing
complex inter-cropping
systems than elsewhere in the developing
world. New technology for areas where input
delivery systems are weak should be pest resis-
tant and maintain soil fertility (Spencer, 1985;
Binswanger and Pingali, 1988; Matlon, 1990;
and Spencer and Badiane, 1994). This complex

Table 1-1. Indicators of Declining Food Securl
African Countries.


1991 Food
per capital Index

Soari: I.NDP. 194.

Daily ca
supply a


challenge calls for more focused agricultural re-
search investments.
As we will demonstrate in Chapter 4,
Africa's human and institutional capacity to ad-
dress these problems has improved consider-
ably over the last three decades, although it is

Ity in Selected still limited relative to
other parts of the develop-

ing world. Well-trained Af-
s f rican researchers now need

nents the resources to realize
their scientific potential.

Poverty and Food
Insecurity in Asia
The Asian population,
which has increased by 1.2
billion from 1960 to 1992, is
expected to grow by an
additional 1.7 billion in the
next 25 years (UNDP,

Chapter One

al Trends in Per Capita Food and Livestock Production,

2201- A

Latin America South & East Asia Developing World

Source: FAO Production Yearbook, various issues.

1994). The poor in South Asia are more numer-
ous than in any other region of the world de-
spite the Green Revolution, which reduced pov-
erty levels to a considerable extent. In India,
Bangladesh, and Pakistan roughly 80 percent of
the 475 million people living in poverty reside
in rural areas (see Figure 1-8). The technology
of the Green Revolution was most successful on
irrigated lands, which comprise only 30 percent
of total arable lands in South Asia. Modern crop
varieties developed for the rainfed areas have
been less successful. Small farmers in rainfed
areas have been slow to adopt modern crop va-
rieties, the yield gains of which are considerably
less than those in the irrigated areas (see Chap-
ter 2).
Even in China, poverty remains extensive
enough that one in ten of the world's poor re-
side in that country. China's poor are found pri-
marily on the loess plateau or
in remote mountain or desert Figure 1-7 F
regions: areas which have and the Unite
failed to benefit from the tech-
nology of the Green Revolution kgs per h
(Lijan, 1994). In China, as in 250
South Asia, alleviating rural
poverty will require resource- 200
sustaining innovations to en-
hance the productivity and in- 150
come of poor farmers, particu-
larly those in rainfed systems.
Will the technology of the
Green Revolution that has suc-
ceeded in feeding the one bil- __ L
lion mouths added since 1960 Sahai
be able to similarly feed next
century's newcomers? Accord- Sor
ing to one estimate, Asia will
require 1.8 billion metric tons

of cereals in 2025 to meet the projected needs-
roughly one billion tons more than the 1990 pro-
duction (see Figure 1-2). Clearly the task of pro-
ducing the additional cereals will be formi-
Asia's dilemma is that important sources of
past gains in cereal production can no longer be
relied upon. These closed avenues to increased
Asian production include:

further massive increase in fertilizers and
pesticides amounts;
area expansion; and
massive investment in irrigation infrastruc-

The output responses to additional inputs of
chemical fertilizers and pesticides has diminished
in irrigated areas. In East Asia, fertilizer appli-
cation rates are already the highest of any re-
gion and exceed by twofold the rates in the

fertilizer Application Rates, Various Regions,
ed States.

ectare arable land

1970 E 1980 D 1992


j I

East Asia South Middle Latin U.S.A.
ran & Pacific Asia East America
a & North and the
Africa Caribbean
urce: FAO Fertilizer Yearbook, various issues.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

United States (see Figure 1-7). In Asia's high-
potential agricultural regions, a vast transfor-
mation has already occurred. Single-crop, low
nutrient farming systems using traditional va-
rieties have been replaced by multiple cropping
sequences and high applications of chemical
inputs supported by irrigation development.
High rates of fertilizer, pesticide, and water use
have led to a host of second-generation environ-
mental problems in irrigated rice and wheat
systems (Herdt, 1988; Pingali, 1992; Pingali and
Rosegrant, 1993; Brown and Kane, 1994;
Fujisaka, et al., 1994).
Area expansion, responsible for nearly a third
of the increase in rice production in the 1960s,
did not contribute to growth in rice production
in the 1980s (Pingali and Rosegrant, 1993). In-
deed, Asian cropland contracted as valuable
lands were lost to industrial uses and urban
sprawl. For example, the combined area of crop-
land in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan has
fallen from over 8.0 million hectares in the early
1960s to 4.3 million hectares in 1994. In China,
estimates of the annual loss of land to nonfarm
uses go as high as one million hectares-a 1 per-
cent annual loss of its cropland (Brown and
Kane, 1994).
Expanding the role of irrigation is also be-
coming increasingly difficult and costly; a de-
cline in the real prices of rice and wheat as well
as environmental concerns about irrigation
have stalled investment in irrigation in the
1980s and 1990s. Donor lending and assistance
for irrigation investment in Asia peaked in real
terms in 1977-79 and by 1986-87 had fallen by
50 percent (Pingali and Rosegrant, 1993).
Given the constraints on these former
sources of production growth, the continued

research, development, and adoption of even
higher yielding varieties is critical. In many ar-
eas of Asia the yield gains from replacing older
Green Revolution varieties with improvements
due to varietal change are the single remaining
source of productivity growth. The burden on
plant breeders and biotechnology researchers is

Poverty and Food Insecurity in Latin
America and the Caribbean
The overall numbers of the poor are lower in
Latin America than in sub-Saharan Africa or
Asia. The larger share of Latin America's poor
live in the urban areas; a portent of trends in the
rest of the developing world in the decades
ahead. The failure to achieve significant land
reforms in most of Latin America has unevenly
spread the gains from agricultural productivity
and, combined with the presence of a relatively
large industrial sector, has accelerated rural-
urban migration. The urban population in Latin
America and the Caribbean in 1992 was 76 per-
cent of the total, in contrast to less than 30 per-
cent in Africa and Asia; 62 million of the 100
million poor living in Brazil and Mexico now
reside in urban areas (see Figure 1-8).
Clearly, land distribution remains an explo-
sive issue in the rural areas of Latin America,
where 61 percent of the small farmers and farm
laborers live in poverty (UNDP, 1994). Conflicts
over access to land pose a profound threat, not
just to internal political stability, but to interna-
tional financial and economic stability. The re-
cent events in the state of Chiapas, Mexico,
demonstrate that in a world of globalized finan-
cial markets the impacts of distributional ten-
sions in rural Latin America are profound and
far reaching.

Chapter One

Figure 1-8. A Profile of Human Deprivation, 1992.


Viet Nam

In Ihe developing world as
a whole. 1 3 billion people li;e
below the overly line. one
billion liie in rural areas. Of
children under Ihe age of 5, one
;r Ihr e I r mra.3ln ur;hi'h d. a .:'lal
ol 192 rrill;-.r. children.

0 100 200 300 400
Total poverty Rural poverty millions

Note: Poverty line defined as that income below which a minimum
nutritionally adequate diet plus essential non-food requirements
are not affordable.
Source: UNDP, Human Development Report 1994.

-- -~~- ~-

Improving the welfare of the poor in Latin
America through agriculture will require atten-
tion to:

* improved property rights and land access;
* increased production and marketing effi-
ciency to maintain low food prices for the
urban poor and near-landless farmworkers;
* increased attention to the needs of small
farmers, especially those in the marginal
hillside areas and lowland tropical forest


Environmental degradation, poverty, and
population growth are linked to each other and
to agriculture in complex ways. There are two



* poverty,
* global climate change,
* desertification, and
* deforestation

while promoting:

* sustainable agriculture and rural develop-
ment and
* the preservation of biological diversity.

The effects of population pressures on natu-
ral resources are already severe. Growing popu-
lation pressure and poverty are overriding
causes of agricultural expansion to marginal
lands and environmental degradation on exist-
ing lands. Arable land per capital, already at the
low level of 0.17 hectares in the developing

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability



major sets of issues in developing coun-

the unsustainable exploitation of natu-
ral resources associated with the expansion
of the agricultural frontier by impoverished
rural populations concerned with survival;
the negative environmental effects of
intensive agriculture related to irrigation,
monocropping, and the use of high levels of
chemical inputs.

As emphasized at the 1992 UNCED in
Rio, environmental degradation in devel-
oping countries is integrally related to the
growing poverty of households. UNCED's
Agenda 21, a "program of action for sus-
tainable development", rightly called on
the scientific community to cooperatively
develop and transfer environmentally
sound innovations and technologies.
The UNCED Agenda 21 envisions the
worldwidee mobilization of scientific resources
o combat:

world, is expected to decline 40 percent in the
next 30 years (WRI and IIED, 1992). According
to one estimate, overgrazing of livestock affects
680 million hectares of pastures and rangelands,
leading to devegetation, soil erosion, and re-
duced stocking capacity (Vosti and Scherr,
1994). While estimates are imprecise, more than
two-thirds of all tropical deforestation is
thought to result from the expansion of agricul-
tural activities by resource-poor farmers over-
whelmingly concerned with survival. Shorter
fallows in traditional bush-fallow farming sys-
tems result in their declining productivity as
nutrients are not replenished.
When population pressures exceed the car-
rying capacity of the natural resource base, ag-
ricultural technical change normally follows to
counter the declining labor productivity of tra-
ditional farming systems (Boserup, 1981). Yet
without adequate policies, such a natural pro-
cess of intensification can be severely thwarted
(Lele and Stone, 1989). The problems of extreme
poverty, poorly developed credit and input
markets, and inadequate infrastructure can pre-
vent many communities from adopting needed
resource-conserving, productivity-enhancing
technology. The complex interactions among the
various socio-economic, biological, and physi-
cal factors that affect the sustainable agricul-
tural use of natural resources and technology
adoption are poorly understood.
Environmental concerns associated with the
modern seed-fertilizer-pesticide technologies of
the Green Revolution include:

* the effects on human and animal health of
surface and groundwater contamination by
* the potential loss of habitats for wild species
and, in turn, of biodiversity;

* the declining productivity and degradation
of irrigated agro-ecosystems; and
* increasing greenhouse gases from irrigated
rice production.

The sustainability of the irrigated agro-eco-
systems of the first Green Revolution has re-
cently been called into question. A twenty three-
year study at IRRI, for example, demonstrated
an annual 1.29 percent decline in rice yields on
continuously cropped experiment station fields
where the best management practices and the
most productive rice varieties were utilized
(Pingali and Rosegrant 1993). Soil salinity and
waterlogging, siltation of irrigation systems, mi-
cronutrient deficiencies and toxicities, and de-
clines in nitrogen supplying capacity are among
the serious problems affecting the productivity
of irrigated rice and wheat agro-systems in Asia
(see Chapter 2).
Biodiversity in agriculture declines when
locally adapted traditional varieties are com-
pletely replaced by a few genetically identical
modern varieties. The disappearance of tradi-
tional varieties reduces the size of the gene pool,
which constrains farmers' and plantbreeders'
ability to develop improved crop varieties. The
potential spillover costs to U.S. breeding pro-
grams are high, as the centers of origin for
maize, wheat, barley, rice, citrus and soybeans
lie beyond U.S. borders.


Even from this brief overview of global chal-
lenges, it is evident that the need to increase
agricultural production has not lost its urgency.
On the contrary, rapid population growth rates
coupled with stagnating or even decreasing

Chapter One

agricultural production in many developing
countries raise a new set of daunting environ-
mental and poverty concerns. Increased agricul-
tural productivity in a sustainable manner is
essential for reducing hunger and poverty
among the one billion poor people, most earn-
ing less than one dollar per day, who make their
livelihood in agrarian-driven economies. Thus,
the challenge confronting agricultural research
at the start of the 21st century is one of recon-
ciling the developing world's need for increased
agricultural production with the imperative of
sustaining environmental resources.
What is needed is nothing less than a series
of new green revolutions, one with new agen-
das appropriate to meet 21st century challenges.
More precisely, we need not so much one world-
wide second Green Revolution as a second gen-
eration of environment-friendly, mini green revolu-
tions appropriate to the diverse physical and
socio-economic conditions in developing coun-
tries (Conway et al., 1994; TAC/CGIAR, 1992).
New innovations must boost productivity, sus-
tain natural resources, and reach the hundreds
of millions of resource poor farmers living in the
marginal areas in Africa, South Asia, and else-
where who were bypassed by the first Green
Revolution. At the same time, solutions to the
environmental problems associated with the
first Green Revolution must be found.
Such a series of "greener" green revolutions
will be much harder to bring about than the
first. Yet the potential for successful U.S. lead-
ership in this endeavor is great, as it was in the
first Green Revolution. Tremendous recent de-
velopments in the United States in a range of
sciences including genetics, molecular biology,
ecological systems, computer and information
sciences, communication technologies, and

legal and policy studies also place the U.S. sci-
entific community in a strong position to con-
tribute. The institutional framework for global
collaboration to deal with these issues already
exists through the CGIAR system and the in-
creased capacity of the developing country na-
tional agricultural research systems.
U.S. science is positioned to provide the glo-
bal leadership needed to conduct this important
enterprise jointly with other industrial coun-
tries, the international research centers, and de-
veloping country research systems. Moreover,
there is compelling evidence that the United
States will benefit from success in this endeavor.


Some critics of the concept of a second gen-
eration of green revolutions argue that increas-
ing agricultural productivity in developing
countries is not a concern. They contend that
excess scientific and productive capacity in the
commercial agricultural sectors of the industrial
countries can meet the enormous future food
demands of the developing world (U.S. News
and World Report, 8/12/94; Carruthers, 1993).
They claim that the 57 million acres set aside in
the United States and Europe as part of farm
income support programs could be returned to
farming; and that an additional 200 million
acres of savannah land could be brought into
production by the commercial agricultural sec-
tors of South America with few additional costs.
Why, these critics ask, should we go through
the trouble and expense of finding ways to
increase production in developing countries?
Won't this merely create competition for farm-
ers in industrialized countries? Such arguments
are deeply flawed in several respects.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Why The United States Cannot
Feed the World
First, the economic and environmental bur-
dens of "feeding the world" would be intoler-

* Most of the idled farmlands in the United
States and elsewhere in industrialized
countries are of marginal agricultural
value. Production on marginal lands cannot
be resumed without incurring substantial
environmental costs including soil erosion,
loss of fertility, increased nitrate leaching,
and pesticide runoff.
* Commercial farmers will not work these
lands unless someone is willing to pay for
the additional production. This would en-
tail either high world market prices or con-
tinued government subsidies to agricultural
producers at a time when taxpayers and fis-
cally constrained OECD governments have
signalled that they are unwilling to bear the
high costs of these subsidies, which
amounted to $335 billion in 1993 (IMF,

Second, the notion that poor developing
countries could meet their massive food de-
mands primarily through imports is simply
unfeasible in most cases:

* The poorer countries in Africa, South Asia
and Latin America will not have the foreign
exchange to pay for food imports to feed
their poor and landless on the scale needed.
* Even if they were capable of paying for
imports to meet their projected food
demand, the port, storage, transport, and
handling facilities to manage the vast in-
crease in shipments would need massive

* Most importantly, the imported food is not
likely to reach the poorest of the poor, who
lack the money to buy it.

Agricultural Productivity is Essential for
There is a third, more fundamental argu-
ment for increasing agricultural productivity in
developing countries. In their highly agrarian
economies, the only way to increase incomes
and food security is through investing in and
increasing the productivity of the rural popula-
tion. In all parts of the developing world, agri-
cultural performance has been at the heart of
overall economic performance. This is particu-
larly true for the predominantly rural, low-in-
come countries of Africa and South Asia.
As demonstrated by the first Green Revolu-
tion in Asia, achieving broad-based rural devel-
opment is crucial for developing the import ca-
pacity of developing countries. Without agricul-
tural and overall economic growth, food aid
prompted by compassion rather than commer-
cial agricultural imports will be the order of the
day, implying a substantial fiscal burden for
U.S. citizens (McCalla, 1994). Meanwhile, weak
export markets will slow domestic prosperity
and impede efforts to alleviate poverty in the
United States. Stagnant rural incomes and food
production in developing countries will contrib-
ute to civil strife and political instability (see
Box 1-5). Desperately poor farmers will be
swept up in a rising tide of urban and illegal in-
ternational immigration. The resulting costs to
the United States could well prove to be stag-
The argument that failure to improve local
agricultural productivity can have serious con-
sequences for the United States, while success

Chapter One

Box 1-5. War and Rumors of War
A recent article argues that growing resource
shortages and their sociopolitical consecltqences
in developing countries \erge on becoming the
major naltonal ,ecurit\ problem for the Linited
States and the other industrial cotintriee
i Kaplan. 1994i.
The tele' ised crises in Somalia. Rswanda.
Haiti. and Chiapa, in Nletico are just a few ex-
amples of the nearly 1(t) ongoing armed con-
tlicts in the developing world. The a result of a complex set of underlm'vn problems.
including rilinl population' and stagnini pro-
ductit.s\i growth in agriculture associated with
low public inielm~telnts and poor policies The
resultant pressuies on Ijnd. water, forest. rind
marine resources lead to unsajitary and unpro-
ducrtie living conditions. exacerbate ethnic ri-
valries. and force the spread of spillover con-
flicts. refugees, and communicable diseases.
Poor political leadership. entrenched tested eco-
nomic interests. and the increased availbhilti of
small arms also contribute to the problem A
combination of these factors is already having a
direct impact on internal U.S. politics and immi-
gration policies in states such as Califoinia.
Florida. Texas. and New York. hlule putting U.S.
lives in danger in the attempt to resolve the con-
flicts abroad.
International humanitarian and military in-
tertentions to iss'tige the human suffering in
these conflict ha\e sharply incieascd and ha\e
-iphoned off international resources from de\el-
opmental acti\ ities. Emcreency aid and disaster
relief as a share of OECD development assis-
tance doubled from 199() to 1992, while the $3 6
billion cost of U.N. peace-keeping operations in
1993 was more than tenfold the 1988 level
ISpeth. 19931. Wilhin the U.S. there is a debate
as to w whether an ongoing substantial L.S con-
tribution to peace keeping eflorts in such inci-
dents is in the U.S. national interest.

can bring great benefits, has been vividly illus-
trated by the sub-Saharan African and East
Asian development scenarios. The Asian expe-
rience with the Green Revolution contrasted
with the African experience of stagnant agricul-
tural productivity and food aid, showing that
despite the vast capacity of agriculture in the
United States increased agricultural production
must take place in the developing countries
themselves, and that investment in agricultural
research is critical to achieve the needed pro-
In summary, we argue that:

* increasing local crop and livestock produc-
tion in developing countries is the most di-
rect and effective way to deal with the triple
challenge of food insecurity, environmental
degradation, and growing population; and
* success in this endeavor is in the best long-
term political and economic interest of the
United States.


Our call for a series of second green revolu-
tions is based on the belief that reconciling
sustainability with productivity growth is one
of the most urgent tasks facing the international
community. How can the U.S. scientific commu-
nity mobilize its energies and apply them to
accomplish this task? How can the United States
help in the generation of this series of "greener"
green revolutions? It is instructive to look to the
first Green Revolution for guidance.

Lessons from the First Green Revolution
Why were U.S. scientists and universities in
conjunction with the international agricultural

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

research centers able to make such dramatic
contributions to meeting the developing
world's needs for food and fiber?

* First, they brought modern plant and ani-
mal science and an urgent resolve to bear on
technological change in developing coun-
o Second, they helped to build local capacity
through collaborative research and training
to meet genuine farmer needs (Lele and
Goldsmith, 1989).
* Third, they helped to redirect research pro-
grams in the developing countries to high
priority problem areas where there was the
greatest immediate potential for technologi-
cal breakthroughs providing the much
needed breathing space to developing
countries to address the complex challenges
of resource poor areas.
* Fourth, attention to appropriate agricul-
tural policies, institutional reforms, and
infrastructural needs provided the incen-
tives that enabled researchers to produce
research results and that gave profit-ori-
ented small farmers the opportunity to
adopt improved varieties. The demand for
change clearly came from developing
country policy makers who assigned agri-
cultural development the top priority it de-
served in policies, investment priorities,
and institutional arrangements. Today
many policy makers are prepared to do so
* Fifth, they worked on transferring technol-
ogy at the farmer level, through on-farm
demonstrations and extension programs.
* Finally, the first Green Revolution demon-
strated the value of partnerships among

scientists, politicians, research administra-
tors, and donor agencies; the centrality of
training and institution building; the utility
of developing and implementing a strategic
research agenda; and perhaps most signifi-
cantly, the importance of flexibility, learn-
ing-by-doing, and institutional innovations.

Today's Waning Leadership and Declining
In the past two decades, the U.S. university
system, still the largest and most advanced in
the world, has seen its once prominent role in
international agricultural research diminish.
The involvement of U.S. universities with devel-
oping-country NARS and the CGIAR system
has decreased in both absolute and relative
terms to that of institutions in other donor coun-
tries. U.S. bilateral assistance for agricultural
development, often funneled through the land-
grant universities, declined from $1.4 billion in
1980 to $0.4 billion in 1990 (see Figure 1-9). U.S.
assistance has fallen from 38 percent of total
OECD agricultural assistance to 11 percent (Von
Braun, et al., 1993). The United State's historic
25 percent funding pledge to the CGIAR (see
Box 1-2) is now closer to 10 percent of the total
CGIAR core funding, and the leadership of U.S.
scientific resources in the work of the system is
limited. At the same time the domestic budgets
of many U.S. universities have been tightened
with a lower availability of overall agricultural
research funds and declining exposure of U.S.
faculty and students to a rapidly changing and
increasingly more competitive global economy.
Unfortunately, resources at the disposal of
the CGIAR Centers and NARS are also
decreasing just as they rise to confront the new,
highly challenging research agenda of the 21st

Chapter One

century. World Bank funding for agricultural
development declined significantly during the
1980s (see Figure 1-9). The Bank continues to
play a substantial role, however; its outstanding
commitments of agricultural loans and credits
to developing countries amounted to nearly $25
billion in the 1988 to 1994 period, of which $2.2
billion was allocated to research. Funding for
the CGIAR Centers has stagnated since 1985
and has declined in both real and nominal terms
since 1992. The funding shortfall has required
curtailing of programs, reducing staff, and
merging centers. Some 136 senior scientist po-
sitions and 2,000 local hire staff positions were

Figure 1-9. Selected Donor Assistance for Agricultural
Development, 1980 to 1990.

millions 1985 $


3,000 -

2,000 -

1,000 -

or Ban
World Bank

' I I-_ .

I I "


United States European Japan
Source: OECD, 1994

dropped across the system in a recent
downsizing (CGIAR, 1994).
At a time when political and economic re-
forms have significantly improved farmer in-
centives and their demand for innovations, the
NARS in many countries are operating in ex-
tremely difficult financial situations. External
and internal resources for agricultural research

have become scarce. In the latter half of the
1980s, donor assistance for agricultural re-
search, rural development initiatives, and ex-
tension declined considerably (Lele, 1992). In
addition, the numerous countries which have
had to implement structural adjustment pro-
grams, have made drastic cuts in public expen-
ditures related to agriculture. Over the 1984-88
period, for example, public expenditures on ag-
riculture as a percentage of its total value of pro-
duction in countries receiving structural adjust-
ment loans was 9 percent; versus 16 percent in
countries not receiving loans (van Blarcom et al.,
In such a context of dissipated energies
and unrealized potentials, the possibilities
for effective action are great.


The revolutionary changes in technology,
macroeconomic and sectoral policies, and
political relations since the first Green Revo-
lution call for new partnerships and mutual
cooperation between the North and the
South. The old, paternalistic, Cold War ar-
rangement of patron-client foreign aid is an
anachronism in today's rapidly integrating
global economy.
Together with the liberalization of inter-
national commodity markets, the widening
technology gap between developing and indus-
trial countries suggests a large potential for cre-
ating a global market in scientific services and
training. The GREAN initiative could play a
catalytic role in developing the U.S. supply of
services for this market. Building on the U.S.
universities' comparative strengths in research,

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

graduate training, and extension, the initiative
proposes a mechanism to significantly increase
the access of developing countries to the ser-
vices of U.S. educational institutions. The de-
mand by developing countries for these scien-
tific services could be fostered by coordination
with the research investments of the multilat-
eral banks. Hence, the GREAN initiative places
strong emphasis on mobilizing the best of U.S.
Recent trade and economic reforms in both
developing and developed countries have im-
proved the economic environment for agricul-
tural development, increased the economic
returns to agricultural research, and improved
farmer incentives. The extensive liberalization
of domestic economic policies and international
trade policies throughout the developing world,
together with the recent NAFTA and GATT
agreements, have opened up important new
trade opportunities. The reform wave has thus
greatly expanded the range of alternatives for
achieving food security.
As developing country economies open
themselves to international trade, production
shifts from protected commodities to commodi-
ties in which there is a comparative advantage
in production. There can be significant favor-
able impacts on rural food security and the en-
vironment when trade liberalization includes a
well focused strategy for mobilizing the
smallholder sector. Economic research has
shown that not only are there significant
complementarities between export crop pro-
duction and food production in smallholder
systems, but many export crops, such as peren-
nial tree crops in hillside systems, can be grown
in a much more environmentally sustainable

fashion than the continuous cropping of annu-
als. Trade in labor intensive, high value crops
promises greatly to help developing countries
in expanding employment and increasing
much-needed import capacity.
In the process of liberalizing their domestic
economic policies, many countries have already
eliminated marketing and stabilization boards
that taxed producers, have rationalized finan-
cial policies, and have realigned their
overvalued exchange rates. Other countries are
planning similar reforms, all of which improve
farmers' incentives. The improvement of farmer
incentives is often a necessary condition for in-
creasing the productivity of agriculture. Eco-
nomic incentives tend to increase farmer de-
mands for agricultural innovations and re-
search, which likewise are necessary conditions
for productivity growth. The reduction in
OECD subsidies for agriculture is similarly ex-
pected to improve producer incentives in devel-
oping countries as world market prices adjust
upward. Maintaining international competitive-
ness places heavy demands on agricultural re-
search. Innovations must address the process-
ing, marketing and quality control needs of
small farmers as well as their production needs.
Properly identifying and committing resources
to the long-term pursuit of a country's competi-
tive advantage is not a simple task given today's
massive capital flows, technological change,
and fluctuating exchange rates.
Another significant factor is increasing com-
mercialization of agricultural research by the
private sector. Recent breakthroughs in biotech-
nology and the expansion of intellectual prop-
erty rights associated with the new GATT treaty
have provided a stimulus to private sector

Chapter One

activity. Yet, private sector research is restricted
by the possibilities of commercialization and
market size, and is thus limited to technologies
(mainly chemical and mechanical) that can be
adequately protected by patents, or to areas of
biological technology in which the results can
be protected by trade secrets such as inbred
lines used to produce hybrid seed. Incentives
are negligible for private sector research to meet
the needs of the poor who use few inputs, or for
environmental research with long term societal
benefits. Therefore these types of research re-
quire public investment. Particularly for devel-
oping countries, there is still a strong case for
research as a public good. The private sector's
role must be viewed as a complement to, rather
than a substitute for public sector agricultural
and environmental research.

Opportunities for Future Collaboration
The prospects for new, more effective col-
laboration among U.S. universities, the CGIAR,
and NARS are excellent because each now has
well established complementary strengths (de-
tailed in Chapter 4). The future potential impact
of U.S. involvement in agricultural research of
an international public goods nature is tremen-
dous-especially in the fields of biotechnology,
ecology, information systems, telecommunica-
tions, social sciences, and policy analysis. This
potential is illustrated by contrasting the limited
size and resources of the CGIAR system and the
national research systems with U.S. resources.
The CGIAR operates with 1,000 scientists and
an annual budget of slightly over $300 million,
while the average NARS employs less than 400
scientists. The combined public and private U.S.
agricultural research sectors employ well over
23,000 Ph.D.s supported by more than 45,000

Ph.D.s in agriculture-related basic sciences
(Huffman and Evenson, 1993). In 1990, total fed-
eral expenditures of $2.2 billion and private sec-
tor funding of $4.2 billion were dedicated to ag-
ricultural research. In the area of biotechnology
over $2.0 billion in federal funds are allocated
annually to support basic research by the NIH
and others (Busch, et al, 1991). Obviously, this
unmatched, albeit constrained, capacity has a
great deal to contribute to the crucial global is-
sues outlined above if given productive collabo-
rative arrangements through which to direct its
The CGIAR system has placed high value on
working with universities and other agricul-
tural research institutions in industrial coun-
tries. By relying on universities and other ad-
vanced research institutes to conduct some of
the basic research and to devise new method-
ologies and conceptual approaches to meet
farmer constraints, the CGIAR centers can use
their own scarce resources more efficiently.
Additional benefits to the CGIAR centers in-
clude considerably increasing their productiv-
ity at a relatively small cost and sensitizing the
U.S. public to the value of international agricul-
tural research. Clearly, CGIAR-university col-
laboration has great potential, not yet fully re-
The ability of the NARS to play a central role
in the generation and diffusion of the new
knowledge and technology needed for produc-
tivity growth among the poor has increased.
Currently, the capacity of the NARS varies
greatly. Strengthening of the research, training,
and extension functions of many NARS in close
collaboration with potential users remains an
essential task. Other NARS have developed the

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

capacity to collaborate in a full range of scien-
tific endeavors. U.S. universities could once
again play a major role in working with the
NARS, but in a new cooperative partnership
For example, over 5,000 agricultural stu-
dents from developing countries are presently
enrolled in graduate programs in U.S. univer-
sities. Under a new initiative, training of many
more would result. By strengthening collabora-
tive research linkages, students from develop-
ing countries educated on U.S. campuses could
acquire more relevant training, while participat-
ing U.S. faculty and U.S. students can gain new
insights about traditional approaches and re-
quirements that would enhance the nation's
knowledge base of a rapidly integrating world
agricultural economy. Establishing collaborative
linkages with developing country agricultural
universities would be particularly fruitful both
for the internationalization of U.S. academic
programs and the building of local training ca-
pacity in developing countries.
The World Bank is currently making large
sums available for investments in NARS insti-
tutional capacity. In addition to the $2 billion al-
ready committed, the Bank has offered to com-
mit an additional $500 million annually to ag-
ricultural research in developing countries over
the next five years. NARS institutions will be
able to access Bank resources to pay for research
costs, training of scientists, and institutional de-
velopment on an unprecedented scale. These
World Bank credits and loans would represent
an excellent opportunity for maximizing the im-
pact of U.S. and CGIAR collaborations with the
NARS. For example, strengthened national ex-
tension programs would improve the prospects

for farmer adoption and refinement of new re-
source-conserving technologies.
Through new partnerships with national
systems the United States will ensure continued
access to valuable plant genetic material in
tropical agriculture and to the new technology
which spills out from growing research and de-
velopment efforts in other countries. The
CGIAR system also recognizes that it needs to
continue to help strengthen the NARS of devel-
oping countries if it is to increase productivity
in a sustainable manner. For all of these reasons,
collaborative partnerships with NARS promise
great dividends to the United States and the
world community.
In summary, the opportunities for successful
collaborative research are abundant. A sus-
tained, coordinated approach by U.S. universi-
ties, the CGIAR system, national programs, and
donors promises to improve the lot of hundreds
of millions of small farmers and poor urban
consumers. It remains for us to seize these op-
portunities. The Director of the Center for Glo-
bal Food Issues of the Hudson Institute, Dennis
Avery, has testified to a Senate committee that,
given sufficient funding of agricultural research
and the continued liberalization of agricultural
trade, the earth should readily be able to feed
10 billion people (U.S. News and World Report, 9/
12/94). Yet twenty years ago, D. Gale Johnson
of the University of Chicago (1975) questioned
the political will of the industrial countries to
"either directly or through international aid
agencies, move promptly enough and with
sufficient resources to expand the world's agri-
cultural research." The question still remains at

Chapter One


This report presents a proposal for a bold
new U.S. initiative, called Global Research on
the Environmental and Agricultural Nexus
(GREAN) for the 21st century. Its mission is to
promote, facilitate, and enhance collaborative
research efforts among CGIAR centers, devel-
oping country NARS, and the U.S. scientific
community, particularly U.S. universities on a
much larger scale than occurs presently.
Through a program of competitive grants, both
small and large,'funded on a long-term predict-
able basis, the initiative aims to focus and chan-
nel the best of U.S. agricultural and environ-
mental science on the triple challenge of global
hunger, environmental degradation, and ex-
panding population. The proposal is detailed in
Chapter 6.
The plan envisions up to $100 million within
the next three to five years in new annual fund-
ing through a congressional appropriation to
permit long-term, consistent planning and
implementation of a collaborative research ef-
fort to complement current and future CGIAR
and NARS investments. The goal is to spawn a
second generation of "greener" green revolu-
tions throughout the developing world. The
thinking of the taskforce has been to launch the
initiative at a pilot stage with $10 to $15 million
annually in new money. Given the current con-
text of highly constrained resources, however,
the taskforce now proposes beginning the pilot
phase by bringing together already established
competitive activities of private foundations,
private enterprise, the CGIAR centers, the U.S.
public sector, and the NARS of developing
countries to facilitate high-quality collaborative
projects in disciplinary and applied

multidisciplinary research involving the agri-
cultural, biological, environmental, health,
physical, and social sciences with a view to rap-
idly accelerate their impact on the farmers'
The GREAN initiative envisions addressing
four interrelated outcome-oriented research
objectives on a priority basis, namely:

* enhanced productivity, food security, nutri-
tion, and health;
* sustainable use of soils, water, forests, and
* conservation of biological diversity in natu-
ral and domestic systems; and
* coping with an uncertain and fluctuating

To help achieve these objectives and to focus
research programs more effectively on farmers'
needs as well as to maximize demonstrable im-
pact in the field, two cross-cutting research
themes are proposed:

* farmer participation in research; and
* policy analysis and socio-economic re-

Farmer participation in the planning and
implementing of research is to be encouraged
for the explicit purposes of (1) fostering more ef-
ficient adoption of research results, (2) incorpo-
rating indigenous knowledge in research inno-
vations, and (3) requiring responsiveness to the
needs of women.
Although the GREAN initiative is proposed
as a U.S.-led and U.S.-managed effort, it would
ideally evolve into a truly global endeavor, re-
flecting the shared responsibility of all nations
in finding solutions to global problems.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

This chapter has explained the triple chal-
lenge facing the planet and has argued that U.S.
leadership is critical to meet it. In the next chap-
ter we take up the question of priority setting:
with so much research that could be done, how
should we apply our scientific resources?
Chapter 3 then explores a highly promising,
long-term, multidisciplinary research agenda
appropriate for the 21st century. In Chapter 4
we evaluate the past, present, and potential fu-
ture roles of the U.S. university and CGIAR
systems, the NARS, and private foundations in
the rapidly evolving global research system.
After examining the lessons of past and current
collaborative arrangements, Chapter 5 then ex-
plains why a new mechanism for collaborative
research is necessary. And, finally, Chapter 6
concludes the report by outlining the operating
principles of the GREAN initiative and pro-
poses an organizational structure.

Chapter One



States should cooperate to
strengthen endogenous
capacity-building for sustain-

able development... by
enhancing the development,
adaption, diffusion and
transfer of technologies,
including new and innovative

Principle Nine, Rio Declaration on
Environment and Development,
United Nations Conference on the
Environment and Development
(UNCED), 1992


* Research Priorities of the Grean Initiative

* Three Challenges to Priority Setting

* How Important Are Marginal Lands?

* From Research to Adoption

* Defining Sustainable Agricultural Development

* Measuring Sustainability


If investment in agricultural research
holds potential for stimulating global eco-
nomic growth and protecting the environ-
ment by

* increasing resource productivity and em-
ployment among the poor,
* alleviating hunger and resource degrada-
tion in developing countries, and
* expanding global trade and saving natu-
ral resources,

the key questions then become: Where do we
need to focus our effort? What should be our
strategy and set of priorities? How should we
arrive at them? Who should decide on the re-
search agenda? What should be the balance
between conducting new research as distinct
from actively promoting application of
known technologies?
The TRIPS taskforce debated these practi-
cal issues and the philosophical consider-
ations underlying them for nearly 16 months.
The process involved discussions among
scores of scientists and development practi-
tioners from the United States, developing
countries, and the CGIAR centers. The consul-
tations among working groups were followed
by the issuance of a draft report on the eve of
the CGIAR's International Centers' Week in
November 1994. Nearly 1,000 copies were cir-
culated on U.S. campuses, to the CGIAR cen-
ters, and among the NARS scientists in devel-
oping countries, prompting responses from a
truly broad range of interested readers and
resulting in extensive revision of the earlier
formulation. The three main areas in which
the readers contributed to greater clarity and

focus related to the following aspects of pri-
ority setting:

* Whose research priorities?
* What balance between research and ap-
* Who has comparative advantage in doing
what kinds of research and application?

The comments reflected both the wide
range of opinions on these issues as well as
the need for GREAN to achieve a delicate
balance between grassroots concerns, on the
one hand, and application of the most appro-
priate (not necessarily always cutting edge)
science at the highest level of excellence, on
the other. The agenda-setting process must be
highly flexible and dynamic. It must not only
evolve to meet changing circumstances but
respond to already highly diverse conditions.
Further, no matter what the subject of research
or application, the readers agree that GREAN
must foster synergies among a range of actors,
each of whom brings different assets to bear
on the solution to the problems.
From this process of reflection and review
emerges a set of guiding principles to shape the
21st century research agenda. Even as the
agenda itself evolves, the relevance of the fol-
lowing guiding principles should endure.
Firstly, research efforts should be based on
considerations of the relative urgency of prob-
lems as viewed by the ultimate clients of tech-
nology, namely the rural poor in developing
countries; the likelihood of returns to re-
search; prospects for meaningful adoption of
innovations; and the innovativeness of meth-
odologies and topics. The priority-setting pro-
cess also recognizes the desirability of build-
ing upon existing strengths of the major

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

research partners-the U.S. universities,
CGIAR centers, and national research sys-
tems-as reviewed in Chapter 4.
The following guiding principles also
shape the GREAN initiative's research

* Innovations should enhance agricultural pro-
ductivity while simultaneously sustaining or
improving the natural resource base. Many of
the new plant varieties with genetically
transferred resistance to pests, diseases,
and drought currently being developed in
the United States and the CGIAR centers
are examples of the types of technologies
that meet this criterion. Similarly, new
knowledge generated from resource man-
agement research, such as minimum till-
age and integration of agroforestry with
cropping, is likely to yield both environ-
mental benefits and enhance farmer pro-
ductivity and income. Again, the estab-
lished strength of U.S. universities in de-
veloping programs of natural resources
and environmental research strongly sup-
port collaborative efforts in this area.
* The 21st century research agenda must ad-
dress the needs of the small-holding, resource-
poor farmers who were bypassed in the first
Green Revolution. The majority of the
world's one billion rural poor live in ar-
eas characterized by difficult environ-
mental conditions. These farmers have
not benefitted from agricultural research
to the degree that those in the more favor-
ably endowed agricultural areas have.
These fragile and marginal lands are also
the sites of a great deal of environmental
degradation and loss of biodiversity. The

urgency of the environmental and pro-
ductivity problems in marginal agricul-
tural areas or fragile environments
requires priority consideration by re-
search scientists.
* Emphasis should be placed on the consump-
tion needs of the poor, in recognition of the
strong linkages between rural poverty,
nutrition, human fertility rates, and envi-
ronmental degradation. In this regard, the
needs of the 75 percent of the developing
world's rural poor who reside in South
Asia and Africa deserve particular atten-
* Local concerns and needs must be the focus of
the global agricultural research system.
When research directions originate from
local concerns, the prospects for farmer
adoption of research innovations is en-
hanced. To make the system more
client-oriented, NARS and complemen-
tary institutions, such as nongovernmen-
tal organizations (NGOs), extension pro-
grams, private seed companies, and input
retailers must become critical partners in
the research priority setting and teChnol-
ogy transfer process.
* The research agenda should exploit recent sci-
entific advances. One important impetus
for the GREAN initiative is the latent po-
tential of recent scientific advances to
benefit local concerns and needs. In the
first Green Revolution, the United States
and international agricultural research
centers (IARCs) had considerable success
in working in partnerships with NARS to
develop plant breeding techniques.
Although the United States has substan-
tially reoriented its research priorities in

Chapter Two

recent years, the particular U.S. strengths,
reflected in ongoing U.S./CGIAR collabo-
rations and the United States Department
of Agriculture's (USDA) current National
Research Initiative, illustrate potential
applications of U.S. science for a second
series of green revolutions.
* The research agenda should complement ex-
isting programs. Clearly, those important
research topics that are not being ad-
equately addressed elsewhere should re-
ceive priority consideration by the
GREAN initiative. The McKnight Col-
laborative Crop Research Program and
the Rockefeller rice biotechnology pro-
gram are illustrative of this approach. To
avoid duplication with CGIAR research,
GREAN priorities should be coordinated
with the CGIAR's research activity matrix
(see Chapter 4).
* Research programs should address the whole
research-to-development continuum so that
the adoption of technologies will become
as valued an output as research results
themselves. An ideal chain of command
should be from the farmer to the scientist,
with local institutions, NARS, the CGIAR
centers, and U.S. universities providing
the necessary linkages between basic sci-
ence and adaptive research.
* GREAN should give priority to funding re-
search in areas where favorable conditions for
adoption of research innovations already ap-
ply. In its selection of research proposals
for competitive grants, the GREAN initia-
tive should place strong weight on (1) a
favorable local policy environment for
adoption, (2) the adequacy of infrastruc-
ture in targeted rural areas, and (3)

demonstrated local mechanisms for tech-
nology transfer. Without these elements
the successful diffusion of technology
innovations becomes a much more diffi-
cult task. This means GREAN research
will work in active partnership with a va-
riety of other actors, such as pre-existing
donor assistance or national programs,
which are better suited to address local
bottlenecks to adoption by virtue of their
position or their command of resources.
* The gap between known technologies and
their adoption should be bridged asfast as pos-
sible. Thus, a part of the GREAN program
will be devoted to identifying on-shelf
technologies. They may not yet be
adopted either because they are intrinsi-
cally inadequate, or because favorable
policies, institutions, and infrastructure
necessary for their adoption, such as
prices, access to credit, extension, inputs,
and markets, are lacking. Targeted socio-
economic research would help accelerate
adoption, on the one hand, and would
clarify the criteria for promising research
programs, on the other.


Three complex issues challenge those who
seek to define a 21st century research agenda.
First, we must answer critics who will find the
goal of meeting the poor's consumption
needs to be at odds with the goal of enhanc-
ing production on marginal lands. Second, we
are challenged by the imperative of finding
ways to ensure that research programs will be
translated into real improvements at the
ground level. Finally, in order to achieve the

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

goal of sustainability, we must define what we
mean: what is sustainability and how do we
propose to evaluate whether we have
achieved it? There are no black or white an-
swers to these complex issues, only shades of
gray. The particular shades that we choose
depend on the vantage point from which we
view the world. In the remainder of this chap-
ter we make explicit the vantage point of the
TRIPS taskforce.


Developing an agenda for investment in
research requires the complex balancing of
efficiency, equity, and environmental issues.
Concern for the vast numbers of rural poor
requires careful attention to the issues facing
fragile and marginal agroecosystems where
the majority of the poor reside and where the
incidence of environmental degradation is
highest. Conversely, the growing numbers of
urban poor in many regions highlight the
need for efficiency in food production and
attention to the more favorably endowed ag-
ricultural areas where the returns to research
are typically higher.
In simple terms, marginal lands are those
with short growing seasons, unfavorable
soils, low rainfall, lack of irrigation, and/or
other significant limitations (see Box 2-1). The
marginal ecosystems include hillsides in Cen-
tral America; tropical mountain regions of the
Andes, Himalayas, and the East African high-
lands; much of the humid tropics; as well as
the semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa
and the Indian sub-continent (NRC, 1993). By
and large, these areas were bypassed by the

Box 2-1. The Diversity of Production
Conditions in Developing Regions
The major physical determinants used to
classify armingg land potential are. according
to FAO:
* iymoatnite and reIptilour cornlditions, %which
determine the length of growing periods.
defined as the number of da)s when both
water and temperature permit crop
growth: and
* soil churacteristici. including fertility, slope.
drainage, depth of soil. and texture.

SThe extent to which the lengths of 'groW-
ing penqds vary in developing regions is strik-,
ing (Higgins et il.. 1982). In South America 85
percent of lands climatically suitable for.-,
rainfed crop production have a long growing
period 180-365 days) followed by Asia t73
percent; does not include China., Africa 164
percent. and Central America (63 percent.
Shorter lengths of growing periods 075-179
growing days) are proportionally greatest in
Central America 137 percent followed by Af-
rica (30 percent). Asia 127 percent). and South
America t15 percent).
Soil resource endowments also vary con-
siderably: Central America contains the high-,
est percentage of soils with no inherent fenil-
1t)' limitations (44 percent) followed by Asia
(36. percent). South America 2t0 percent), and
Africa 119 percent.
The characterization of agricultural poten-
tial must also take into account investments
in irrigation. Irrigated lands in Asia account
for 36 percent of total arable lands including
Chinal. followed by Central America 121 per-
centi. South America 19 percent. and Africa
17 percent (FAO. 1993ai.

Chapter Two

first Green Revolution since they were for
varying reasons unsuitable for the high-input
systems of maize, rice, and wheat cultivation.
The problems of these ecosystems demand
attention not only because of their immense
biological and environmental resources but
on grounds of social justice as well.
There is controversy in the development
community about whether in recent decades
there has been under- or over-investment in
plant breeding research for marginal areas
compared with more favorable agricultural
lands (Byerlee and Morris, 1993). Donors and
governments have devoted a large share of
scarce development resources to the develop-
ment of fragile areas, particularly in Africa
and more recently in Asia and Latin America.
But returns to crop breeding investments
have often been low, and they, together with
other factors such as poor policies, inadequate
infrastructure, and fiscal constraints, have dis-
couraged investments in agriculture as a
whole (Lele, 1992b).
Much of the increase in productivity, in-
comes, and employment in the agricultural
sector has occurred in the more favored re-
gions of the world. On the irrigated lands of
Asia, adoption of semi-dwarf wheat and fer-
tilizer technology frequently resulted in initial
yield increases of 35 to 40 percent (Byerlee
and Morris, 1993). Following the initial adop-
tion, breeders have continued to achieve an-
nual yield gains of approximately 1 percent,
or roughly 50 kg/ha/yr.
In contrast, increasing the productivity of
marginal lands has proven to be a difficult
task. In areas of low rainfall (<300 mm
during the growing period) the initial yield

gain of modern varieties over traditional
varieties is typically much less than in favor-
able areas; in the case of modern wheat vari-
eties, less than 20 percent gain and often less
than 10 percent. Because of these lower yield
gains and consumer/producer preferences
for the taste and other features (for example,
straw and stover) of many traditional variet-
ies, farmer adoption rates of improved vari-
eties are often much lower in the marginal
areas. For instance, semi-dwarf wheat adop-
tion rates were 21 percent in semi-arid regions
versus over 90 percent in irrigated areas
(Byerlee, 1993; Byerlee and Morris, 1993). Rice
exhibits a similar pattern. Farmer adoption of
modern rice varieties is strongly influenced
by the availability of water control. Irrigated
areas have adoption rates of greater than 90
percent, whereas deep water and upland rice
systems with no water control have virtually
zero adoption of modern rice varieties
(Pingali, 1992).
What, then, should be the priority ac-
corded to marginal and fragile areas? Clearly,
our agenda for a second generation of greener
green revolutions must address the marginal
ecosystems, but it must also cover a far
broader range of activities than has been cov-
ered traditionally by the CGIAR's mandate.
The identification and characterization of
suitable land use systems for marginal agri-
cultural land is an important first step toward
the achievement of the larger goal of sustain-
able rural development. In the larger picture,
the role of these marginal areas as in situ re-
positories of crop and animal biological diver-
sity is also an important issue for many
farming systems which use locally preferred,

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

globally important traditional varieties. In
addition, trees, animals, and crops such as oil-
seeds, cotton, grapes, and other fruits and
vegetables may be more profitable than roots,
tubers, and low-value cereals, such as
sorghum and millet.
Research on natural resource management
may have great utility. This type of research,
which enhances moisture conservation, stems
soil erosion, or increases soil productivity,
may have higher returns than crop breeding,
especially when a proper accounting is made
of the value of biodiversity saved or urban
migration stemmed. Notwithstanding the ac-
tive debate on the relative roles of well-en-
dowed and marginal areas, the issue will
most likely remain unresolved. The CGIAR is
addressing the research needs of these mar-
ginal regions through its ecoregional ap-
proach (see Box 2-2).
In some cases research may prove to be a
cosmetic solution to an underlying problem of
having too many people on the land. In mar-
ginal and fragile ecosystems, sustainable ru-
ral development requires non-farm income to
relieve land pressures; otherwise sustainable
land uses will not be adopted. There are lim-
its, in other words, to the ability of agricul-
tural development to single-handedly allevi-
ate poverty and unemployment problems.
The experience of countries in East Asia have
shown that once economies pick up momen-
tum, transformation from agricultural to
nonagricultural employment can be quite
rapid. The pace of economic transformation
can be accelerated by elements such as:

* rural education, especially targeting girls;
* family planning services;

* public health policies; and
* rural infrastructure (especially schools,
roads, and other communication link-


Adoption of research innovations by the
widest spectrum of farmers is the ultimate
test of the quality of research. With so many
of the results of past research lying
underutilized "on the shelf," many critics ar-
gue that there is no need for new research.
These critics worry that the new research
might prove to have as little farm-level impact
as have some previous experimental "solu-
tions." They complain that scientific resources
would be better spent on finding ways to
move existing technologies "off the shelf"
and onto the farm.
The GREAN response to such concerns is
essentially two-fold:

* New research is clearly needed to address
critical gaps in knowledge and to find
solutions to urgent problems in agricul-
tural productivity and sustainability. The
challenge is to design the new research so
as to maximize chances for adoption.
GREAN policies explicitly stipulate that
research programs must address the
adoption issues to receive funding (as
outlined in Chapter 6). Research must be
designed in response to local needs.
* Priority will be given to research that will
"empty the shelf" of existing technologies
(as shown in Chapter 3). Thus, the re-
search agenda includes topics that aim to
resolve bottlenecks in the research and

Chapter Two

Box 2-2. The CGIAR's Ecoregional Vision: Sustaining Natural Resources While Increas-
ing Agricultural Production

The CGIAR coined the term "ccoregional-
1 iean31 a ieilionjll. declined a'roecoloL' i T.- C.
I 021. The tei m recognizes. for e\antple. that
although seini-arid tropic,. as an agroecolog;.
c:.ii be ideniltied i in nIJy v iieions of the devel-
oping '.iorld. the potential of each ,emi-arid
region is strongl. dependent on polilico-eco-
nomic anid cultural characteristic'. Biological
aind ph3sicjl apect, of ieset'rcli oii the conser-
%alion a ad ndagement ol natut al resoulrces
are deltned n within agtroecological zone,
wheiea tlhe political and cultuiil boundaite,
deliihe thie sctoC coitC i11c Jspect's.
The T.\C I 193i identifies itiee broad di-
mensions of the ecoregional appioach- I1 gIlo
b:il >iratc2a reie.irch illli broadlj 1 applicable
methods Io inpro e p iductil iti in ain
ecoregion. 2o applied and siraiteic research on
the foundalnons of sustainable production %.,-
tenms in the ecoregion. and 13i sittei thening ot
tlhe cooperation ithl iiation.il p.' iiinets nd the
development of colliboratioin, wlth advanced
institution ito augment basic science capacity\.
'The C'GIAR' ecorclgonlal appioach to re-
'se.ahl identifies ade.ls uider imn inelll nt ihre.i

adoption process, including policy stud-
ies, socioeconomic research, studies of
farmer participation, and gender issues.

Institutional links and collaboration with
the NARS and other organizations which
work closely with farmers are crucial to both
of these processes.

Strengthening Links to the Farmer
Typically the linkages between researchers
and farmers tend to be weak. The problem of
"on-the-shelf" technologies partially reflects
this weakness. Researchers' ability to gener-
ate technologies that address farmers' needs
depends on their effective dialogue with

of resource degradation b. human-induced fac-
Iors. tsuch as acute ,iIl erosion. decertification.
and salint/ation The approach seeks to identify.
describe. and measure degradation at several le%-
els of a natural hierarchy the soil. the field, the
f.irmi [l eroecosstrem and the landscape unit
It also seks to identity human cause of depra-
danlon through a hierarchy ol human decision
point, at indo idual. household. community. in-
'stlutionall and polii \ levels It researches both
the technical solutions to the physical and bio-
logical dcgradaiion and ias t., change human
decisions .i the letcl, causing the problem.
Geographical infornmatiioii \trems are used
to characterize the partiall dilnensions of the
core ion and subhequentl% to eitrapolate re-
sear:clih iesul to similar localitie' To be nmot use-
lul. geoigaphical information '\stems need to
characterize adequate\ the socioeconomic and
politc.il dinienion- of the rural community. The
in[ei actions between these dimensions makes the
anal\sj of sitainahle agriculture a dynamic and
spatiallN complex task that requires a strong
multlidiJ cihlihnar% approach based on the best that
disciplinary research hau to offet

extension workers and others who operate at
the grassroots level. The sort of international
collaborative research envisioned by GREAN
requires establishing close links between
NARS researchers and extension workers,
private enterprises, NGOs, and others work-
ing with farmers and rural communities to
ensure the correct problem-solving focus.
On the other hand, certain "on-the-shelf"
technologies may be highly appropriate, but
may not be reaching farmers because of an
ineffective extension effort or inadequate on-
farm adaptive research. Improving farm man-
agement practices is information-intensive
and requires a strong extension effort. There

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

are a variety of institutions in developing
countries for diffusing new innovations once
they have been adapted to local needs. These
include farmer-to-farmer interactions, NGO
interventions, the private sector, rural devel-
opment and environmental programs, and
government extension and outreach
programs. The U.S. land-grant institutions
have an unparalleled record of achievement
in the extension and diffusion of new tech-
nologies and are well-positioned to assist in
improving the organization of such services
Ideally, all GREAN-funded research pro-
grams would link with existing grassroots
organizations. For example, GREAN research
programs in biodiversity and climate change
would seek to establish links with existing
local environmental projects, such as those of
the recently established GEF (Global Environ-
mental Facility) (see Box 2-3). Extensive local
participation and community involvement
have helped in carrying out GEF projects to

Addressing Bottlenecks to Adoption
The development of new technology re-
quires the participation of social scientists to
identify the "stakeholders" (farmers and oth-
ers who would be directly affected by inno-
vations) and their constraints to adoption. The
creation of an enabling environment for tech-
nology adoption requires specific attention to:

* the reform of tenure systems and water
* the effective integration of indigenous in-
stitutions and knowledge for managing
common pool resources;

* the linkages between organizations man-
aging watersheds and irrigation systems;
* dependable markets for inputs and out-
puts; and
* economic incentives for adopting re-
source-conserving technologies whose
benefits may be off-site.

In summary, research programs funded by
GREAN would be required to address the
whole research-to-development continuum
so that the adoption of technologies will be-
come as valued an output as research results
themselves (see Chapter 6). As previously
mentioned, the GREAN initiative in its selec-
tion of research proposals for competitive
grants would place strong weight on (1) the
policy environment for adoption, (2) the ad-
equacy of infrastructure in targeted rural ar-
eas, and (3) demonstrated mechanisms for
technology transfer. Whether through donor
or national programs or through NGOs, the
experiences with the Green Revolution in
Asia illustrate the importance of researchers
establishing linkages to farmers through de-
velopment projects.


We now turn to the tasks of defining our
stated goal, sustainability, and proposing an
approach to assessing whether research inno-
vations have enhanced sustainability.

Definitions of Sustainability
The common thread between most defini-
tions of sustainability is a focus on resource
management to meet the food needs of the
poor today without sacrificing the needs of

Chapter Two

Box 2-3. The Global Environmental
Facility: A Possible Partner in
To ache\ the he greatest de\eloprnent inm-
pact. programs funded under the GREAN ni-
liartce will link whenever possible with ongo-
ing development programs addressing agricul-
tural and environmental issues that fall .within
the domain of the GREAN research agenda. An
example of the itpe of development programs
which would be pursued are the "Alternatives
to Slash-and-Burn" program funded b\ tihe
The GEF addrsc.ses major global enliron-
mental issues and builds on the achievements
of the Earth Sunmil through grassro',ott de\el-
opnlent programs The United State., a' lead-
ing conltrihutot.1 and other donors are provid-
ing $2 billion in grants and con'ce'.ioni l tund-
ing o er the ne\i three .\ears toi projects on
biodiversity. chinate change. pollution of inter-
national %%aters, and ozone depletion
Biodiveriit\ and climate change accounted
for -15 and 39L percent. respectively. of the $750
million portfolio in the initial three-year pilot
pha'e. the ob.jecties for the ne\t three-%ear
phae are 30 to 401 percent for hiodisersit\ and
40 io i). percent fot global % arminn Impor-
it:ila\. projects addressing land degradation. as
the.\ relate to biodi\ersi\ and global warm-
Ing. are eligible for funding World Bank.

future generations. Important examples in-
* The Bruntland Report (WCED, 1987) de-
fined sustainability as "development that
meets the needs and aspirations of the
present without compromising the ability
of future generations to meet their own
* The Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) Council viewed it as "the manage-
ment and conservation of the natural

resource base, and the orientation of tech-
nological and institutional change in such
a manner as to assure the attainment and
continued satisfaction of human needs for
present and future generations" (FAO,
* The Technical Advisory Committee
(TAC) of the CGIAR defined
sustainability as "the successful manage-
ment of resources for agriculture to sat-
isfy changing human needs while main-
taining or enhancing the quality of the en-
vironment and conserving natural re-
sources" (TAC, 1989).

We accept the common view that re-
sources must be managed to meet the needs
of today's rural poor without sacrificing the
needs of people of the future. Further, we op-
erate on the premise that economic growth in
developing countries is crucial for protecting
natural resources while increasing agricul-
tural productivity.

The Importance of Economic Growth
The ecological view of sustainability,
based on the experience of industrial
countries, questions the need for economic
growth (Odum, 1953; Smith, 1990). Ecologists
view sustainable rural development as being
often at odds with agricultural growth, and
argue that it cannot be based on the materi-
alistic world view associated with the indus-
trial revolution (Bird, 1995). Proponents advo-
cate reduced reliance on external inputs,
closed energy flows, increased diversity in
farming systems, and lower levels of human
consumption. They urge the curbing of popu-
lation growth in developing countries

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

(Ehrlich, 1990; Meadows et al., 1992;
Abernethy, 1993; Bird, 1995).
Yet the poor in developing countries do
not consume great quantities of material
goods. Most developing country environmen-
tal problems cannot be attributed to high per
capital levels of their material consumption. It
is worth recalling that developing country per
capital consumption levels of fossil fuels are
one-tenth those in industrialized countries
(WRI, 1994). The importance of economic
growth is evident in the prediction of most
experts that high population densities and
near-term rapid population growth are here
to stay, regardless. In the best case population-
resource scenario, development efforts would
urgently address the problems of low levels
of technology that are causing widespread
hunger and placing unsustainable pressures
on natural resources.
Happily, economists have begun to distin-
guish between "economic growth" and "sus-
tainable development" while recognizing the
inextricable relationship between the two.
Development is defined as the broad-
based improvement in economic and social
well-being, including incomes, life expect-
ancy, literacy rates, and the quality of the en-
vironment. Economic growth is necessary to
finance the accumulation of physical capital
and infrastructure which in turn are needed
to achieve the broad-based productive em-
ployment of the poor and to ensure their uni-
versal access to education, public health, and
other human services. Because of their influ-
ence on women's fertility decisions, among
other reasons, increased rural incomes and
universal education (especially of women) are

in turn critical for development and for the re-
duction of population growth.

Sustainability as a Guide to Research
Ruttan (1994a) stresses that we are still far
from designing either technological or insti-
tutional responses to achieve sustainable
growth in agricultural productivity with any
certainty. He argues that at this stage
sustainability should more appropriately be
viewed as a guide to research agendas than as
a guide for agricultural practice.
In this regard, Ruttan and others point to
several lines of research that hold special
promise for achieving sustainable productiv-
ity growth in agriculture (Ruttan, 1994a;
USDA/ARS, 1995; Harrington, 1994):

* the substitution of biological technology (for
example, increased nutrient efficiency in
plants, genetic pest resistance, biological
nitrogen fixation, and biological pest con-
trol) for chemical technology (for example,
pesticides, and nitrogenous fertilizers);
* the improvement of water management prac-
tices in agriculture, which entails the
development of water markets based on
social prices; improved methods of water
harvesting in arid regions, and improved
irrigation technology; and improved
community-based institutions for allocat-
ing water in collective irrigation systems;
* the improvement or at least the maintenance
of soil productivity and the reduction of off-
site economic and environmental costs of soil
erosion and nutrient runoff, which requires
technologies that enhance nutrient cy-
cling and soil conservation, including
agroforestry techniques, green manuring

Chapter Two

and crop rotation practices, precision ap-
plication of fertilizers, recycling of urban
wastes, and conservation tillage practices.


How will we know if we have succeeded
in promoting sustainable agricultural devel-
opment in our research? By what means can
we evaluate the sustainability of agricultural
technologies and systems?
Measuring sustainability in agriculture,
like defining sustainability, has proven elu-
sive. The difficulty lies in the vagueness sur-
rounding the idea (Ruttan, 1994a) and in the
many levels at which sustainability must be
assessed, ranging from the molecular to the
international. The phenomenon of global
warming illustrates the point. In order to view
this phenomenon, political and administra-
tive boundaries must be transcended.
The assessment of sustainability requires
a broad, holistic approach. A sustainable ag-
ricultural sector does not require that each of
the various components of the sector be sus-
tainable since substitution among resources is
possible. For instance, sustainable rural devel-
opment may call for moving some people off
of the land through policies that promote
rapid growth in the manufacturing sector. The
concept of sustainability is also dynamic. For
example, the American corn belt has replaced
the forests and prairie grasslands of the
Midwest, becoming a bread basket for the
world and greatly increasing aggregate social
well-being. Conversely, Appalachian moun-
tain lands, which were converted to marginal
agricultural use in the 18th and 19th centu-
ries, have been largely reclaimed as forest
lands since the Great Depression.

Methods for Measuring Sustainability
A variety of methods, none fully adequate,
have been used by scientists to assess the
sustainability of agriculture. Some argue that
the initial focal point for assessment is the
farming system (Lynam and Herdt, 1992).
One method for assessing the sustainability of
a farming system is to measure its trend in
total productivity (TP) (see Box 2-4).
Whatever the method chosen, accurate
measurement of sustainability tends to be
costly due to the complexity and large volume
of the required data. An important research
challenge is to find means of minimizing the
costs of assessing environmental quality and
impact. By combining existing expenditure
studies, farm surveys, and other studies with
field work designed to obtain data on the en-
vironmental parameters of greatest conse-
quence, researchers can mitigate some of the
The GREAN initiative proposes a
multidisciplinary collaborative approach to
measuring sustainability. The CGIAR's
ecoregional approach (see Box 2-3), which
extends beyond the level of farming systems,
is also intended to be multidisciplinary. The
traditional strength of U.S. universities in the
environmental sciences and natural resources
management can contribute significantly to
the development of rigorous scientific
methodologies for evaluating sustainability.
The well-established record of
multidisciplinary research in U.S. universi-
ties, combined with the resources of the
GREAN initiative, would augment the lim-
ited resources at the disposal of the CGIAR
centers and developing countries for address-
ing these issues.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Box 2-4: "Total Productivity Trends": One Method for Assessing Sustainability

Tlie total prodtictivtN iTPi ol a farminLe s,-
tern is defined as the total \Jlue of all outputs.
inciidinuc b'iproduct,. divided hi the total Jalu,
of all input used duiing one c.. cl of the ss-
tem. This requires accounting, for all of the an-r-
oit, pi odiiCtln n costs isee T b.ile 2-Ii. A posilit e
TP neInd line o\er time would mean a sustaiIn-
able laiinmg vetcin. I P is poisnit' ly affeLted b\
imnproed Let hnolog\ .ind i, negiatiel af:tected
b\ resource degradatoin.
The most di tictult task ti aipply'ing the ITP
definition of sut'ainabilitv is the rieasuienent
,ft production exteinalities IPeare. 19931. Se' -
eral iniplicallions for the a'sr-'snieniii l
.slt:tinLbilii\ research miie

a Precondimins.. *Luch ai 'soil tspe. top'Igraplh\.
'Cell lli.' Ie illI.es. and e\,istin inlnii.iell iierll
pi.icIiie'. heavily I\nfliience thle return to1

adoption and increase the cost of data col-
lecti in
* nA ultidisciplinar\ approach \\Ill he
needed so as to incorporate contibuitons
trom the bioli.,.ical. ph\s ical. and sociall ,'i-
* The qualil\ nf the impact assesi-sment ia<
nim.i.sutid b. TPi \\ill depetid on the base
ot cilentitic intorniation on resource man-

Recent advancee, in computer modeling of
,itopping Yv'eIn' ha'e e\.i ni ned thle econon11ic
component of lustainable producolln at the
tfain level iKelly. 1995 The comhin.ition of
siimulation model, tih sec;ondats and primary\
s'ouce.' ot da could pio ide c)li-effectl e in-
direct I esiiementlell ol TP

Table 2-1. Accounting for the Production ('osl-i of Agricullure: Some Examples

On-'ite economic costs

A Current costs of
eternal and farmer-
supplled inputs. e.g.
fertilizer. labor, land.
crop resMdt u'

+ I.osses in product -
itN through soill erosion
,iid ,soil ferilit\ loss or
gradual alinization

Source. Harringlin. l'N'4.

Off-sile economic costs

L _.sit product nill\
through siltation ofi
irrigation infrastructure
in loi lands, a.,ocijiated
Ith )oil erosion ir

a Lost produciivi\t in
pouei generation
thilt igh poor %atier
quality. associated \\itl
soil erosion in upland,

Eniironmnenlal costs

Reduced nate\ r qtuanll
and eilecti on public
health of pesticide'.
nitrate leaching. etc.

Los. of biodi ersiit
through area expansion

* Increased etuission of
greenhouse ease' and
possible contribuliiion
to global \~ai ing

Chapter Two

Measuring Tradeoffs Between
Sustainability and Productivity
In Chapter 1 we highlighted the urgency
of doubling agricultural production over the
next thirty years on less land and with less
water (The Committee on Agricultural
Sustainability for Developing Countries,
1995). Inevitably, costs will be incurred, both
economic and environmental. Better informa-
tion on those costs is needed so that societies
can choose an acceptable balance between
growth and the environment. Knowledge is
greatly lacking about the true tradeoffs be-
tween productivity and sustainability, knowl-
edge which is urgently needed for setting pri-
orities that affect those on the edge of sur-
vival. Fortunately, means to minimize some of
these tradeoffs are now becoming available
through the advances of science. Research is
critical to making those choices explicit.
Issues of tradeoffs between sustainability
and productivity, for example, form the cen-
ter of the debate over the merits of high yield
modern agricultural practices. One of the con-
cerns is the loss in genetic diversity, when a
large, genetically diverse set of traditional or
heirloom crop varieties and animal breeds is
replaced by a much smaller set of genetically
improved, high yielding varieties and breeds.
The genetic diversity of traditional crops and
breeds is an essential primary resource for in-
tensifying agricultural production through
genetic manipulation. Modern agriculture, by
using genetically improved but homogeneous
species, is able to significantly increase the
productivity of the farming system
(Srivastava et al., 1995). Farmers adopt these

modern practices partly in response to eco-
nomic market incentives which, however, fail
to reflect the social costs of the loss in genetic
diversity. In this example, the key issue for sci-
ence and for society is how to intensify pro-
duction without a drastic loss in the genetic
diversity within species and other compro-
mises to long-term sustainability.
Having reviewed these general principles
for selecting high-priority research programs,
we now move on to outline a research agenda.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability


Knowledge is the most
precious of all resources- but
there is not yet nearly enough
of it available. Potentially,
knowledge is infinite and
inexhaustible. Among all
resources available for future
use, it alone can be used by
everyone everywhere, over and
over again, without ever losing
its value or wearing out. It
represents the way, the only
way, in which solutions to the
problems confronting the
human race can be found.
Increased knowledge can only
be gained through those processes
of inquiry, investigation and
experimentation that are called

Derek E. Tribe
Feeding and Greening the World






Overview of the Research Agenda

Research Program Area 1:
Enhanced Productivity, Food Security, Nutrition, and Health

Research Program Area 2:
Sustainable Use of Soils, Water, Forests, and Fisheries

Research Program Area 3:
Conservation of Biological Diversity in Natural and Domesticated Systems

Research Program Area 4:
Coping with an Uncertain and Fluctuating Climate

Cross-Cutting Theme 1:
Farmer Participation in Research

Cross-Cutting Theme 2:
Policy Analysis and Socio-Economic Research


Priority Program Areas
GREAN envisages four research program
areas in which U.S. universities, in collabora-
tion with the centers of the Consultative
Group on International Agricultural Research
(CGIAR) and national agricultural research
systems (NARS), can make significant contri-
butions to agriculture in the developing

* enhanced productivity, food security, hu-
man nutrition, and health;
* sustainable use of soils, water, forests, and
* conservation of biological diversity in
natural and domesticated systems; and
* coping with an uncertain and fluctuating

Of course it will not always be easy to cat-
egorize individual research projects among
these four areas. Many problems overlap and
require simultaneous research in several ar-
eas. For instance, arresting the rapidly deplet-
ing soil fertility in many parts of the humid
tropics (Research Program Area 2) will be
critical for enhanced productivity and food
security in these areas (Research Program
Area 1).

Cross-Cutting Research Themes
Whereas several important research prob-
lems overlap the four categories listed above,
others cut across all four program areas. Two
such important cross-cutting themes concern:

* farmer participation in research, and
* policy analysis and socio-economic re-

A discussion of the four research program
areas is taken up first, followed by the cross-
cutting concerns, since these should ideally be
incorporated into all four research areas
rather than being isolated efforts.


Genetic Improvement of Crops
Integrating the use of new genetic meth-
odologies into the crop breeding programs of
the NARS is extremely important for
sustainably achieving the much needed an-
nual 1 to 2 percent crop yield growth to meet
projected demand over the next thirty years.
Collaborative international research pro-
grams, particularly involving the more ad-
vanced NARS, could rapidly translate the
leadership of the United States in strategic
and applied research into significant interna-
tional development impacts (see Box 3-1)
within the developing world itself. The more
advanced NARS in turn could develop stron-
ger collaborations with the weaker NARS.
Strong U.S. and CGIAR collaborative ef-
forts are already underway in: (1) the charac-
terization of important genes and gene
products, (2) the relationship between gene
structure and function, (3) regulatory mecha-
nisms of gene expression, (4) alteration and
use of germplasm resources, and (5) the cel-
lular and molecular mechanisms underlying
human nutrient requirements.
Crop varieties that are more tolerant to en-
vironmental stresses address poor, risk-averse
farmers' needs for stable yields. In U.S.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Box 3-1. Recent Breakthroughs in NRI-Supported Basic and Strategic Research

The United States Department of
Agriculture's iLUSDAi National Research Initia-
tihe (NRII on Agriculture. Food and the En\i-
ronment is a federally funded competitive grants
program that seeks the development of funda-
mental scientific knowledge by adding extramu-
ral support to the traditional USDA research
portfolio INRC. 19941.
Areas targeted for basic and strategic re-
search include. It natural resources and the en-
\ironnient plant response. to the en\ironmeni,
forest. rangeland and crop ecosystems. and \\a-
ter quality i 2 nutrition. food qualiil, and
health. 131 animal systems i reproductive biology.
cellular growth and developmental biology .
molecular genetics. gene mapping. and mecha-
nismn of disease i; i- plant sistemn-s genetic
mechanisms and molecular biology growth and
de\elopient. phoitoynthesis and respiration.
nitrogen fixation and metabolism. pathology
andedeed science. entomology. alcohol fuels. and
the plant genome: s.51 market., trade, and policy
icompetitlieness and technology. and rural de-
elopmentl: and bti processing for adding value
and developing tiew products. NRl's achie\e-
ments already. include:
Geneticdiisease resistance
NRI-sponsored research has led to a major bieak-
through in understanding the molecular basis
of genetic disease resistance in plants. Genes that
condition disease resistance ha\e been cloned
for four plant species by several different labo-
ratories. An exciting finding \was that all the
cloned genes encode proteins with common
,Iructural features This raises the possibility of
a common underlying mechanism for disease

universities, biotechnology-led efforts to un-
derstand plant responses to the environment
are leading to new strategies for decreasing
the impact of environmental stress and for
adapting agricultural and forest practices to
possible global climate change.

* Screeni.ng4 for hboine letkemnia
Using techniques of molecular biology, research-
ers have identified the gene that confers resis-
tance to the bovine leukemia \irus. These results
will eventually lead to a screening test so that
farmers mni,, selectively breed for this charac-

9 Ecology, coninutiir. and i'lriatioin
History has shown that civilizations dependent
on irrigated agriculture have collapsed although
the icasons remain largely a minstery.
lultidisciplinary research is considering how
ecoloeg. human communitnes, and iligation in-
frastructure ha\e ceol\ed in the Imperial Valle.
of California. the oldest irrigation-based farm-
ing system in the United States. Better under-
standing of the stresses within this
agroecos.\stlem could help in de\lsinig strateeies
for productive agriculture based on better man-
agement of fragile natural resources.
* Soil quality einhianlit inen
Ne\w information has been developed on w\ays
to augtmeni the gtow\th of beneficial soil microbes
as an en\ironment-friendly method of protect-
ing against root pathogens. Further refinement
will allo\ the development of farming practices
thai ieliably control pathogens in both special-
ized and diversified cropping systems.
* Aniiinicrobital ac\i'it-y in stood pioce sing
Scientists are studying antimicrobial proteins
produced by bacteria used in cheese-making.
One of these proteins called nisim may ha\e both
commercial and home uses to increase food
safety in food processing.

Examples include work on the molecular
characterization of salt-stress response
(University of California-Davis); heat shock
response and stomatal control in higher plants
(University of California-Riverside); and salt
and drought tolerance of maize lines

Chapter Three

(Purdue). Several of the CGIAR centers are
also pursuing these lines of research. Breed-
ers from the International Maize and Wheat
Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the In-
ternational Institute of Tropical Agriculture
(IITA) are developing drought-tolerant maize
and cassava varieties while work on salt-tol-
erant rice is ongoing at the International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI).
Heat- and drought-tolerant bean cultivars
have been developed in Mexico through the
assistance of USAID's bean/cowpea Collabo-
rative Research Support Program (CRSP) led
by Michigan State University. The develop-
ment of maize and wheat varieties, tolerant
of acid soils and aluminum toxicity, by the
Brazilian National Agricultural and Livestock
Research Organization (EMBRAPA) of Brazil
and CIMMYT has been a major accomplish-
ment of collaborative research (see Box 3-2).
Stress-tolerant plant materials help to stabi-
lize crop production, a very important param-
eter, especially for poor farmers with little
capacity for absorbing losses. These materi-
als demonstrate how the new advances in sci-
ence can simultaneously address productivity,
sustainability, and global climate change.
Crop varieties with genetic resistance to
disease and pests reduce the need for pesti-
cides thereby increasing total productivity
while reducing environmental pollution.
These win/win technologies use new genetic
techniques that allow gene transfer between
plant species and from microbes to plants.
Such transfers give the resulting transgenic
varieties protection against microbes and in-
sects. One such source is Bacillus thuringiensis,
a bacterium which produces caterpillar- and

beetle-specific toxins. Both traditional breed-
ing methods and new gene deployment tech-
niques are being researched in U.S.
universities and in international agricultural
research centers (IARCs) to formulate new
strategies for attaining durable resistance.
Examples of strategic genetic research in
plant pathology and weed science include the
characterization of genetic and molecular di-
versity in Colletotrichum and Fusarium-fungi
that cause diseases of enormous consequence
worldwide (University of Arkansas, Univer-
sity of California-Berkeley), the molecular
cloning of disease-resistant genes (Indiana
University), the molecular biochemistry of
herbicide resistance (University of Illinois),
and the use of restriction fragment length
polymorphism (RFLP) markers to measure
gene flow in pathogenic fungi (Texas A&M).
The development of low cyanide cassava va-
rieties (Ohio State) can reduce the time spent
in home processing of cassava, thus reducing
the household workload of women.

Genetic Improvement of Animal Produc-
tion Systems
Genetic improvement is a sustainable
method of addressing losses to
trypanosomiasis, estimated to exceed $2.5 bil-
lion annually in Africa alone. Research efforts
at the International Livestock Research Insti-
tute (ILRI) are extending tolerance to more
productive cattle breeds by crossing
trypanotolerant cattle indigenous to Africa
with trypanosusceptible, but more produc-
tive, exotic cattle. The development of mo-
lecular gene markers for tolerance is
complementing this research. Variable genetic

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

resistance to intestinal parasites by small
ruminants has also been documented at ILRI,
with indigenous Red Masaii sheep found to
have particularly high tolerance.
U.S. strategic and applied research on ani-
mal molecular genetics and the basic mecha-
nisms of animal disease at the molecular level
are rapidly expanding the production

numerous examples in animal disease
research at U.S. universities are: the role of bo-
vine T cells in the pathogenesis of mycobac-
terial infections (University of Wisconsin);
genetic resistance to bovine brucellosis (Texas
A&M); the impact of disease on morbidity,
mortality, and carcass characteristics of swine
(University of Minnesota); and the social be-

possibilities of animal systems. Among the havior, stress and well-being in laying hens

Box 3-2. Collaborative International Research Addressing Critical Productivity Needs

Irrigated Rice in .sia
* A ne ', plain i'pe' for Irrigated rice ha' been
developed bh plant breeders at IRRI. The plant
produces fe%\er tillers but double% the number
or seeds per panicle This inno\auon proInses
fieldd gain, of up o1 25 percent o\ei current liudi
jareties. Innovation, in rice bioiechnolotn. de-
%eloped \with the support of Cornell Uni\er'it\.
the Rocketeller Foundation. and LISAID. \ill
pl:, a major role in iransferrinli diease.w re si-
lance into the ne\ lines of plant t\pe.
Improved Cassara and Plantains in Africa
S hiniro'dc Illt it rit r't tlStil .l Cassj a lie
staplee food supply[ tor an estimated 200 million
Africans and 600 million Asians and Latin Amen-
can'. and it adapis \\ell to marLinl landirid iTube.
1994). Collaborative te.earch conducted b\ IITA
and CIAT has resulted in improved gernplasm
that has doubled the tMelds of African farn'mers to
12 tons per liectare i, here adopted i \lthout a
need for purchased inputs (addressing the needs
ao resource-poor farmer- in Ailica a, discussed
in Chapter I i.

SHighelr vielding., black sitogoka-resistant plan.
minst. Plantains/bananas are the most important
food crop in parts of Africa and Latin Am.erica
and represent the fourth most valuablee food crop
in monetary terms after rice. \\heal. and milk.
Banana breeding is challenging because most cul-
liiated varieties are sterile triploids. To encour-
age more research the Common Fund for
Commodities ICFCi. the Food and Agriculture

Organization iFAOI and the World Bank are co-
sponsoring a competiuse grants banana research
program. The program is drawing on U..S
biotechnology expertise at the Unisersit. of Hu-
wait. Texas.A&MN. the Linj\ersimi of Minnesota,
and USDA \\here niiocon\etiolial methodolo-
uie., such as genetic transformation. are being
used in anietal developnient to improve yields
and introduce disease iesisiance Recently. hbi-
nina breeders at IITA. who have workedd
collaborative\ \\ith biotechnology researchers at
the Lini\ersii-y of Minnesota and USDA in the
CFC b.ianan program. developed a \arietI that
)ields two to three time' more than current lari-
elies in farmers' fields while resisting black
sitagoka. a fun2al disease that can reduce yields
b\ up to 50 percent
Maize for Mlarginal Lands in Latin America
. Acid-tideriti i vitiv.icli 't iiwo:e. Eightc percent
of South .American soils exhibit some inherent
ferltlny limitation. A significant problem in this
contain men's agricul ure is \ ih the lo\\ fertili t of
the acidic soils IHiFgins et al.. 1982). In 1987 the
Brazilian Agricultural Research Enterprise
IEMBRAPAl released the first of a series, of
double-cross maize h\lbids developed in col-
laboration with CIMMYNT. The hybrids are noted
for their high siclds and tolerance to acidic soils.
Similar results were obtained in the shuttlee "
\\heat breeding program \\ith EMBRAPA and

Chapter Three

(University of Maryland). Genetic mapping of
the chicken, swine, bovine, catfish, and salmo-
nid fish genomes are areas of investigation at
numerous universities (Auburn, University of
Florida, University of Illinois, University of
Massachusetts, Michigan State, University of
Minnesota, Texas A&M, University of Texas,
and University of Wisconsin). U.S. expertise
in monogastric animal production (primarily
pigs and chickens) can fill a critical gap in the
international livestock research system where,
historically, strategic research has focused on
ruminant systems.
Small-scale tilapia aquacultural enter-
prises enhance household food security both
by providing high quality protein and cash in-
come. Such enterprises integrate well with
irrigated vegetable gardening, especially for
dry season markets when prices are typically
high. In the late 1980s the International Cen-
ter for Living Aquatic Resources Management
(ICLARM) and its national partners began to
apply standard selective breeding techniques
to improve the productivity of tilapia enter-
prises. The internationally renowned pro-
gram in aquaculture at Auburn University
has made a significant research contribution
to this growing worldwide industry. Further
genetic improvements in tilapia productivity
require urgent attention.

Symbiotic Processes and Biological
Nitrogen fixation and the biological con-
trol of pests are two areas of biological
research that offer the promise of both pro-
ductivity enhancement and resource conser-
vation. The biological control of cassava
mealybug in Africa is the largest program of

this type in the world. Cassava (manioc), a
staple food crop throughout West and Central
Africa, was introduced to the continent by
16th century Portuguese explorers. In the 20th
century the cassava mealybug and the green
spider mite (another cassava pest) arrived
from Latin America and threatened devasta-
tion. In the early 1980s, IITA identified a para-
sitic wasp of the mealybug in Latin America
and began releasing this natural enemy of the
mealybug, which had virtually wiped out cas-
sava production in some parts of Africa. The
wasps established themselves quickly and
have permitted the resumption of cassava
production in the most heavily affected areas.
Biological control of the green spider mites
has proven more difficult. Its natural enemies
(various species of predatory mites) have not
adapted well to the African environment.
Cassava yield losses from the spider mites
vary from 10 to 80 percent. Ongoing funda-
mental research on insect ecology at several
U.S. universities, including the temporal and
spatial dynamics of plant, insect, and biologi-
cal control interactions, could have great rel-
evance to problems such as the control of the
green spider mite.
Nitrogen fixation research is an area of
long-term strategic importance given the lim-
ited global supply of fossil fuels to produce
nitrogenous fertilizers. Basic, strategic, and
applied research in U.S. universities is lead-
ing to better understanding of issues such as
genetic regulatory mechanisms for nitrogen
fixation (University of Georgia, University of
Missouri, VPI); the ecology of free living and
symbiotic nitrogen-fixing microorganisms
(Washington University); and the metabolism

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

of nitrogenous compounds by higher plants
(University of California-Davis).
Many regions of the developing world
would benefit greatly from adaptive research
to identify appropriate strains of nitrogen-fix-
ing rhizobia and intensified efforts to reach
farmers with inoculants (Hubbell, 1995).
Whether and with what effect these types of
"on-the-shelf" U.S. technologies can be
adapted to developing countries would be a
high priority activity for GREAN.

Improvements in Crop and Livestock
In the early stages of the first Green Revo-
lution, policies in many countries favored the
use of external inputs such as fertilizers. More
recently, however, chemical input price in-
creases resulting from currency devaluations
and reduced subsidies have caused farmers
throughout the world to become more inter-
ested in improving input efficiency. Where
subsidies have been high, the inefficient use
of chemical and water inputs have created en-
vironmental problems and reduced the pro-
ductivity of irrigated wheat and rice systems.
These problems include salinization, nitrate-
and pesticide-contaminated water supplies,
subsoil compaction (hardpan formation), de-
clines in soil nitrogen supplying capacity, and
increased pest problems associated with con-
tinuous monocropping.
Some of these environmental problems
will be automatically addressed as input
subsidies decline. Yet research would con-
tinue to be needed on:
* managing the impacts of subsidies on in-
put use and resource quality;

* developing optimal recommendations for
fertilizer and pesticide applications, tak-
ing into account considerations of both
productivity and the maintenance of re-
source quality;
* examining impacts of diverse cropping
systems, including the use of leguminous
cover crops in systems management on
productivity, labor, resource quality, and
other input requirements;
* identifying means of controlling livestock
diseases and improving livestock nutri-
* improving methods of tillage and crop es-
tablishment technology;
* improving integrated crop/livestock
systems through research on their current
and optimal management; and
* improving farmer education and exten-
sion services to accelerate the adoption of
improved management practices.

Many traditional crop and livestock man-
agement practices used by small farmers,
such as burning, fallowing, and mulching,
were highly efficient in maintaining soil fer-
tility while ensuring food security. With popu-
lation growth and increased population
densities, however, many of the traditional
methods are under increasing stress. An im-
portant set of research issues relate to combin-
ing traditional knowledge with modern,
scientific means of resource management.

Integrated crop/livestock production
The combined crop and livestock systems
enhance the total farm productivity while im-
proving the environment. For instance, graz-
ing sheep under their rubber trees, rubber
growers in Indonesia reduced herbicide use

Chapter Three

by 50 percent while also reducing weed in-
festation, a system developed by the small
ruminant CRSP led by the University of Cali-

Precision farming
Fertilizer efficiency can be improved sub-
stantially through changes in crop manage-
ment, such as delayed application of fertilizers
and increased soil and water testing. Water
management research can lead to substan-
tially reduced levels of water use with no loss
in yields. The key determinant in driving the
adoption of these management practices are
resource scarcities, input price, and/or envi-
ronmental regulation. In the United States it
is primarily environmental concerns that have
driven research on precision farming tech-
niques, but the results of this research have
broad application to developing countries
where resource scarcities and resource deg-
radation are serious problems but environ-
mental regulation and implementation lag
behind. The adoption of precision farming
techniques in the United States has been
greatly facilitated by innovations in microchip
technology. The transfer of microcomputers
to small farmer organizations by nongovern-
mental organizations (NGOs) is also occurring
rapidly in many developing areas, making the
adoption of precision farming techniques fea-
sible. These techniques can be very important
to achieving sustainable development as they
yield high environmental and productivity re-
turns concurrently.
Illustrative examples include the develop-
ment of real-time soil nitrate sensors and
methods for variable rate nitrogen recommen-
dations (Purdue, University of Missouri,

University of Minnesota); watershed manage-
ment techniques to reduce the risks of water
pollution (Ohio State); the development of
site-specific crop management techniques for
improved water and chemical use efficiency
to reduce groundwater contamination (Uni-
versity of Idaho, University of Nebraska); the
identification of socioeconomic barriers to the
adoption and diffusion of nitrate testing (Uni-
versity of California-Davis, University of Wis-
consin, Pennsylvania State); and the
development of a chlorophyll meter used to
time the top dressing of nitrogen in irrigated
rice systems (IRRI). Initial on-farm testing of
the IRRI chlorophyll meter in the Philippines
revealed a 12 percent average increase in
yields while using 10 percent less nitrogen.

Integrated pest management (IPM)
IPM techniques have incorporated biologi-
cal controls and genetic disease resistance as
an alternative to pesticides and have signifi-
cantly reduced use in many areas where
adopted. Pesticide use in integrated pest man-
agement depends on the concept of the eco-
nomic threshold, which is a function of crop
quality and price received, pesticide costs, the
type of pest, and the population density of
the pest in the field. Pest-resistant varieties
and biological control organisms are impor-
tant components of IPM because of their fa-
vorable influence on economic thresholds of
pesticide use. Research at the University of
Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences (IFAS) on integrated pest manage-
ment has resulted in 50 to 80 percent reduc-
tions in applied insecticides and 17 to 31
percent reductions in fungicides among
adopting fruit and vegetable producers. More

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

than 22 states in the United States have cre-
ated IPM extension programs to increase
farmer knowledge of these information-inten-
sive techniques. IPM techniques have been
highly successful in rice farming in Indone-
sia, but because of their skilled labor and in-
formation-intensive nature, IPM requires the
active involvement of farmers, public exten-
sion programs, and NGOs to ensure diffusion,
especially where the educational attainment
of farmers is low.

Improvements in Post-Harvest
Management of Agricultural Products
Low food prices and growing incomes are
two pillars for improving food security
among the poor. Increasing rural incomes
among the poorest members, especially for
women who are mainly responsible for the
purchase of food, allows the purchase of a
diet sufficient in protein and energy. En-
hanced post-harvest technology and efficient
market structures are necessary for maintain-
ing low food prices, increasing rural incomes,
and creating jobs (as are the agricultural inno-
vations discussed above). A third pillar of
food security is nutrition education, which
can significantly reduce malnutrition even
with stagnant productivity and income
growth (UNDP, 1993).
Improvement of marketing efficiency and
post-harvest technology have not received
much attention in many developing coun-
tries. Their importance, however, is growing
as populations continue to urbanize and as
many developing countries seek to increase
their competitiveness in export markets. An
efficient production sector requires efficiently
operating markets which in turn need timely

market information. The United States' expe-
riences in setting up systems, such as the Uni-
versity of Florida's Market Information
System, could help establish research efforts
in these areas in developing countries. The
physical marketing functions of storage,
transport, and processing are often the source
of staggering food losses in many developing
countries, particularly for fresh fruits and
vegetables. Research on improved storage,
transport, and processing methods can often
have a higher and quicker return than crop or
animal breeding research.
Labor-intensive innovations, which add
value or create new products in the food pro-
cessing and marketing sector, can create jobs
needed by women and by the rural landless
class. U.S. examples of agricultural processing
research and new product development in-
clude the use of broiler litter as a ruminant
feed (University of Arkansas), the develop-
ment of co-products in ethanol production
(Iowa State), and the manufacturing of textile
products from sugar cane (Louisiana State).
Market research is exploring the nature of
consumer preferences for various U.S. agri-
cultural products, such as U.S. fresh fruits
(University of Florida), to assist producers
and agribusiness in better targeting of mar-
kets. The impacts of new products and tech-
nologies on U.S. competitiveness in export
markets is also an important research area
that developing countries would need to
emulate as they become more trade-oriented.
Examples in the United States include stud-
ies of competitiveness in wheat, soybeans,
and corn markets (Iowa State); sources of ag-
ricultural productivity growth (University of
Minnesota); and an examination of economic

Chapter Three

growth and food exports to the East Asian
market (Purdue). In Africa the transportation
sector is a serious bottleneck to agricultural
development. Transportation has long been
an area of active agricultural economics re-
search in the United States.

Addressing the Health/Agriculture
Healthy and educated farmers are innova-
tors, while energy-stressed and poorly edu-
cated farmers are not. Many of the
environmental issues associated with agricul-
ture, such as pesticide and fertilizer runoff,
link the agricultural agenda with public
health issues. Increasing agricultural produc-
tivity requires not only new innovations but
sufficient investment in rural human re-
sources as well. Bridging the agricultural,
environmental, and health sciences to achieve
sustainable growth in agricultural production
is therefore increasingly advocated (Ruttan,
1994b; Atwood, 1995).
Once expected to be eliminated as a pub-
lic health problem, infectious diseases remain
the leading cause of death worldwide. Dra-
matic changes in society, technology, and the
environment, together with the diminished
effectiveness of certain approaches to disease
control, have created a new global epidemi-
ology. The spectrum of infectious diseases is
expanding, and many diseases once thought
to be conquered are increasing (CDC, 1994).
The recognition of AIDS and epidemics of
hemorrhagic diseases in humans, such as
those caused by Machupo virus in Bolivia,
Hantan virus in Korea, and Ebola and Lassa
viruses in Africa, have led to the use of the
term "emerging diseases". The U.S. Institute

of Medicine has emphasized the importance
of emerging diseases to both the industrial-
ized and developing nations of the world.
Today's global economy and rapid transpor-
tation systems deny us the luxury of ignoring
disease threats occurring "far from our
Numerous factors contribute to the emer-
gence of diseases, including many factors re-
lated to agriculture. There is now increasing
awareness of the role of domestic and wild
animals in the epidemiology of human
"emerging" infections, and the control of
tropical diseases is gradually involving other
sectors in addition to traditional public health
services (Mott et al., 1995). Several previously
unrecognized diseases such as Ebola and
AIDS have emerged in areas undergoing eco-
logical change. Deforestation (see Box 3-3)
and conversion of dry land to paddy fields for
rice cultivation are just two examples associ-
ated with emerging diseases.
Large irrigation projects are increasing the
incidence of malaria and schistosomiasis. The
West Africa Rice Development Association
(WARDA) is examining the question of why
irrigated rice farmers are not producing a sec-
ond annual crop of rice. One of the factors
under investigation is the sharp increase in
the incidence of malaria and schistosomiasis
in local populations after irrigation systems
have been developed. Since the 1986
construction of a dam across the mouth of the
Senegal River, the local incidence of
schistosomiasis has exploded to over 70 per-
A recent World Health Organization
(WHO) task group identified several vector-

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

borne diseases that might be influenced by
climate change (Haines et al., 1993). Global
warming is expected to deliver its most
deadly punch to the developing world, say
epidemiologists, whose models predict an in-
creased prevalence of diseases such as ma-
laria, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness,
dengue fever, lymphatic filariasis, African
trypanosomiasis, and yellow fever (Haines et
al., 1993; Stone, 1995).
Remote sensing and geographical infor-
mation systems (GIS) are facilitating new and
productive multidisciplinary collaboration in
adapting new technology to promote control
of these diseases (Mott et al., 1995). GIS pro-
vides a common platform for
multidisciplinary research, integrating infor-
mation on the focal transmission of diseases
(such as African trypanosomiasis, cutaneous
and visceral leishmaniasis, Chagas disease,
schistosomiasis, and foodborne trematode
infections), the spatial distribution of animal
reservoirs, and other environmental factors.
Veterinary scientists, zoologists, ecologists,
and public health specialists are able to over-
lay the results of their research in a GIS frame-
work to better understand and control disease
Another area of great concern in the devel-
opment process are nutritionally related dis-
eases. Recent estimates by WHO and the
World Bank place the proportion of the total
global disease burden, directly or indirectly
related to malnutrition, and vitamin deficient
diets at 11 percent (UNDP, 1993). Research
programs addressing the problems of malnu-
trition and energy stress the need to first aim
for a better understanding of the types of

individuals, households, and communities at
risk (Payne and Lipton, 1994). Second, the
scope and myriad of adaptive responses to
energy stress need to be more completely un-
derstood and documented. Third, research
should help to reveal the mechanisms and
processes of adaptive responses. Fourth, in
the area of policy, research should strive to
assist local communities adopt open pluralis-
tic processes for setting ethical standards to
deal with malnutrition and community re-
source allocations (Payne and Lipton, 1994).

Box 3-3. Of Mice and Men
The ot'tr of the NMachupo iius in Boli\ ai
illustrates the roles that agricultural expansion
and animal \ectors iin thi, case micei can plain
iii the emergence of new human diseases.
The 1952 social resolution in Bolivia led to
a disruption of employment and food supplies
in the far interior sa, anna region along the
Mlachupo Riter. In order to sur\i\'e. Ihe local
population turned to raising maize and \eg-
etable crops, clearing fields for this purpose out
of the dense forest above the Nlatchpo flood
plain. In the process iheN disrupted the habitat
of the Caloia(vi field mouse and at the same time
pro ided the mice with a superior nes\ source
of food--maize. The result s\as a mouse popu-
lation boom and a movement of country) mice
into the to\\n of San Joaquin.
A. author Laurie Garrett (1994) tells the
story. "'b the time the first cases of Bolitian
hemorrhagic.fever las the disease was now
dubbed surfaced, the mice could be found an\
place the townspeople stored food and grain.
And each night while the mice nibbled away at
the humans' food supplies, they urinated. The
[Macbtpol virus [which the mice carried] could'
be eaten or inhaled or could gain entry through
cuts in the skin; in any esent. NMachupo could
be lethal."

Chapter Three


The quality of soil, water, nutrient, fisher-
ies, and vegetation resources is a major factor
in achieving sustainable agricultural produc-
tivity growth in the tropics. The improved
management of natural resources is critical
for their environmental and productivity pay-

Global Soil Degradation
The inherent qualities of the predominant
soils of the humid and subhumid tropics are
highly weathered, acidic, and low in nutri-
ents. Soils of the semi-arid and arid regions,
although containing relatively high levels of
nutrients, are prone to severe and yield-lim-
iting drought stress (see Box 3-4). Soil degra-
dation is a major brake for productivity
growth in agriculture and a major threat to
food security and sustainability. Already, an
estimated two billion hectares are degraded
worldwide (more than two times the area of
the United States), and 5-7 million hectares of
arable land are being lost annually (an area
roughly the size of West Virginia). Research is
urgently needed to establish reliable esti-
mates; the World Resources Institute (WRI)
stresses that the extent of global soil degrada-
tion is "controversial" and that "the lack of
scientific, up-to-date, global assessments" has
left policymakers without a firm basis for
making decisions (WRI and IIED, 1993). The
U.S. Soil Conservation Service, founded in
1933, has conducted the most research in this
area among industrial countries (Tribe, 1994).

The degradation of rangelands is of per-
haps even greater concern than that of arable
land. While arable crop lands account for ap-
proximately 11 percent of the earth's land
area, rangelands cover over twice this area
(Brown and Kane, 1994). Overgrazing ac-
counts for an estimated 35 percent of total soil
degradation versus 30 percent resulting from
deforestation and 28 percent resulting from
agricultural activities (Oldeman et al., 1990).
As grasslands are overgrazed, the resulting
soil erosion can cause significant losses in live-
stock production. In Asia and Africa, com-
bined annual losses have been estimated at
over $15 billion (Dregne, 1990 and 1992). Re-
search on the genetic manipulation of im-
proved rumen feed and forage conversion,
development of more productive fodder sys-
tems including tree fodders, the use of crop
by-products, nutritional constraints, and natu-
ral resource management, especially water-
shed management, is greatly needed.

Soils of tropical drylands and forests
One of the most urgent research and de-
velopment objectives is the achievement of
sustainable resource management for
drylands and fragile tropical forest agro-eco-
systems. According to Lal (1986), sustainable
technologies for soil management should ad-

* preservation of the ecological balance
among vegetation, climate, and soil;
* maintenance of an adequate supply of
organic matter on the soil surface;
* enhancement of soil fauna activity and
soil turnover by natural processes;
* maintenance of the physical condition of

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Box 3-4. Soil and Water Resources in the Tropics

Increasing population pressureN. urbaniza-
tion, soil degradation. and scarcities of water
ha\e resulted in alarming declines in the
amount of prime agricultural land. Thi, decline
is no\ threatening the sustainabilt.% oif agri-
cullural production in m ian tropical region,..
A- shown. per capital arable land area. al-
read. les. than 0.1 ha in several densely popu-
lated regions. continues to decline rapidly :
Per aliha arahl landlJ
I Iu75 119')2
Clhinu 11.10 ha 0 haI I
Indi.a i.2h i. Iz
Eg., pt 0i 7 0 j)4

the soil so that it is suitable for the land
* replenishment of the nutrients removed
by harvested plants;
* creation of a desirable nutrient plant bal-
ance and soil reaction; and
* prevention of pest buildup.

Promising sustainable technologies in-
clude mulch-farming techniques, ridge-tillage
systems, the establishment of vegetative
hedges, no-till farming systems, and
agroforestry interventions to introduce new
associations of system components and man-
agement practices.
Among the many areas in which U.S. sci-
ence could contribute to this field are the
analysis of policy effects on soil resources, the
development of models of soil loss/crop pro-
ductivity interactions, the use of remote sens-
ing to examine the extent of soil loss, and the
study of farming system effects on nitrogen
use efficiency, mycorrhizal fungi, and soil mi-
crobial activity.

Fresh water tor irrigation is also becoming
scarce. The current annual rate of irrigation e-
pansion is no1\ less than I percent.
Nutrient depletion is a major constraint in
soils ot the tropic s and sub-tropics. especially so
in lo\ -input, extensive agricultural systems.
Depletion of soil tertility at the rate of 50 to 100
kg/haqyr of essential nutrients. secondary acidi-
fication. and los of organic matter are common
Net nutrient ioses in some ecoiegions are
estimated to be as much as 10.) kg P/ha and 700
kg N/ha o\ci the last 30 years These nutrients
must be replenilhed if the producti\ity is to be
increased because nutrient management is cru-
cial to agricultural sustainability.

Relevant research on soils and agricultural
ecosystems sponsored by the National
Research Initiative (NRI) in the United States
is focusing on: (1) the influence of physical
and chemical soil properties on water and nu-
trient availability; (2) abiotic and biotic effects
on nutrient, carbon, energy, and water flows;
and (3) the response of plant communities
and soil food webs to management practices
and environmental change. Some ongoing
representative examples include research ex-
amining the effects of nitrogen availability on
the conversion of semi-arid abandoned crop-
lands to rangelands (Colorado State), the mi-
croclimate impacts of shelterbelts on
agroforestry systems (Iowa State), and the
influence of earthworms on microbial soil
processes that influence nitrogen transport
(Ohio State).

Hillside farming
Agricultural systems on hillsides and
mountains are especially threatened by soil
degradation and deforestation. Such systems

Chapter Three

are an important source of income for millions
of poor farm families around the world, from
the Himalayas to the Andes (see Box 3-5). The
causes and consequences of soil erosion en-
tail research of a long-term nature. Research
needs to devise soil-conserving technologies
that are compatible with household con-
straints. In the United States the many intrac-
table problems of hillside agriculture are quite
familiar to the Tennessee Valley Authority and
the land-grant universities with which it has
collaborated. Scientists and extension work-
ers have attempted to help landowners con-
trol soil erosion and change land uses to more
sustainable practices, often with mixed re-
sults. Similar issues in developing countries
would benefit U.S. research as well as
benefitting those countries.

Water Resources
Water shortages will in all likelihood be-
come the major resource crisis in the Middle
East, South Asia, and Africa (Lal and Stewart,
1994). By 2025, some 34 countries will face
water scarcity.
Complex physical and social factors affect
the sustainability of production in irrigated
systems. Public policy and local governance
critically influence the host of physical and
social factors. Research on this complex web
of issues is a matter of high priority since re-
turns to increased inputs are declining in the
irrigated lowland rice areas of Asia and the ir-
rigated rice/wheat cropping systems of the
Indo-Gangetic plain (Pingali, 1992; Pingali et
al., 1990). The study by Pingali and Rosegrant
(1993), which examines the yield trends of 19
long-term rice yield trials using intensive ir-
rigated technologies throughout Asia (the

Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Thailand),
reports that 10 of the 19 trials showed
declining yields, six showed no significant
change, and only three were positive. Among
the water use issues contributing to the de-
clining productivity of irrigated systems are
the buildup of soil salinity and waterlogging,
micronutrient deficiencies and soil toxicities,
and difficulties in maintaining irrigation sys-
tems and protecting them from siltation
caused by upland erosion (Pingali and
Rosegrant, 1993).

A combination of poor drainage and high
evaporation rates increases the soil salinity of
irrigated croplands. A related concern is the
rapid rise in groundwater levels leading to
waterlogged soils and depressed yields, a pro-
cess arising when water use exceeds natural
drainage capacities, unlined irrigation canals
exist, and fields are improperly leveled. Wa-
terlogged soils are often subject to secondary
salinization when rising groundwater brings
dissolved salts to the surface. In Pakistan's
Sind province, the water table has risen from
a depth of 20 to 30 meters to within one to
two meters in 20 years (Pingali and Rosegrant,
1993). Globally, 13 percent of irrigated lands
are estimated to be affected: salinity affects
an estimated 28 percent of irrigated lands in
the United States, followed by China-23 per-
cent, Pakistan-21 percent, India-11 percent,
and Mexico-10 percent (Umali, 1993; FAO,
1993b). According to one estimate, if present
rates of salinization continue, by 2025 nearly
30 percent of the world's irrigated area will
be lost, and nearly 50 percent will be lost by
2050 (WRI and IIED, 1992).

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

The usual solution to salinity and water-
logging is improved drainage and better man-
agement of excess water. Drainage
improvement can be very expensive and bet-
ter management requires an effective exten-
sion service, on-farm investment, and
collective action by local user groups. Paki-
stan, which has attempted to improve the

drainage of its irrigated farming systems, has
discovered that the cost of managing and
maintaining its drainage system is five times
higher than the recurrent costs of supplying
water (FAO, 1993b).
CIMMYT and IRRI are focusing specifi-
cally on the problems of irrigated rice/wheat
farming systems in the Indo-Gangetic Plain of

Box 3-5. Toward Sustainable Farming of Hillsides: Research Priorities

The pioblems of hillside tarming ell illus-
trate the GREAN priority topics coeered ill Re-
search Program Area 2. Hillside agroecology is,
\ery important and farmers have often dealt \rith
1I in spectacular %ways. for example the terraced
hills of Asia. Increased population pressure. ho)\\-
e'ei. has exacerbated land degradation in hill-
side areas. leading to reduced fallow c.cles.
There is surprisingly\ little data on the precise in-
cidence and pace of this degradation or on the
e.;act link beticen Ihis deer.idation and reduced
agitctultural ~1,temn producti\sty.
Technical options to slow or halt erosion are
not lacking. -These include: use of ground cover.
agroforestry. alle\ cropping. grass strips. grass-
land improvement. high value perennial tree
crops. changes in slope length. inodilicalion of
msil properties, and reductions in the slope gra-
dient through land leveling and terracing. In the
uplinds of Honduras. soil-conserting technolo-
gies istone:allIs and leguminous trees pro\ ide
a 2.) percent iicld gain after their construction
iLopez-Pereira et al 19941.
However, rnain of the factors that discour-
Liee hillside farmers from using resource-conser -
ing practices must be addressed, including:
* Labot sapplpv: Mani resource-conser ing tech-
nloogies often require a high initial labor input.
Once built there is often substantial labor re-
quired for-maintenance as well. Maintenance of
adopted Honduran soil-conserting technologies
required an estimated annual 30 nman-days of la-
bor per hectare.

SPovT'rry uril ?1rri/'17l: Resource-poor farmers
frequently continue. as they hate for a long time.
to use practices that degrade the resource base
and reduce system producti'it> r\er the longer
term-since they ineet uhbsistence needs in the
near te ill.
* Dire ceii; lt' i/' N -ce i an-silt aniid i'fl-.3i' cos1 it and
h.nc ttsli. Just as in the United Stales., farmers of-
ten lack incentives to adopt en\ironment-
fricndlN practices because nman\ benefits
gelnelated h\ these practices occur ofl-.sie (tor
ex\satple, reduction of hillside eiosion and de-
forestation and reduced urban migration or they
accrue in the distant future ibor example. im-
pro\ed soil characteristics and fI'eltood and
loiage froin planting of leguminous trees.
a Issues tin lilmnd-use ritghlt When land-use tights
are poorly defined, farmers are often reluctant
to invest in restource-conserving practices. Ho\ -
ever. e\en well-defined right can on occasion
discourage farmers' use ot conservation prac-
tices. For example. Mhen herder, hate rights to
graze cattle on crop residues, the residues can-
not be incorporated to enhance soil quality .

* Policy and insniltunal lchal g: Policy studies
can define the changes required to make suit-
able technologies more attractive to farmers us-
ing hillsides. In Honduras. government
programs include a food-for-work arrangement
to encourage the adoption of soil conservation

Chapter Three

South Asia through an ecoregional approach.
The Centers are working in close collabora-
tion with the NARS of Bangladesh, India,
Nepal, and Pakistan, and with the Interna-
tional Crops Research Institute for the Semi-
Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the International
Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI) in this
endeavor. This research consortium is con-
ducting research projects with the following
objectives: (1) to quantify productivity trends
at the farm level; (2) to develop improved
crop management methods including land
preparation and fertilizer application; (3) to
understand long-term processes of soil fertil-
ity; (4) to improve water management to re-
duce salinity and waterlogging; (5) to
examine the ecological consequences of inten-
sive rice/wheat systems, including salinity,
water pollution, pest ecology, and soil micro-
biology; and (6) to address policy options that
enhance sustainable resource management
(ICRISAT, 1995). In the Imperial Valley of
California, researchers are examining a simi-
lar set of issues; collaborations between these
teams of researchers would undoubtedly
have global benefits (see Box 3-2).

Loss of Tropical Forests
Tropical forests are diminishing at an
alarming rate. Their decline threatens
biodiversity, hydrology, soils, global climate
stability, and the quality of life-especially for
the rural poor who depend on forests for a
variety of products and services. While the
extent of actual deforestation is a subject of
intense debate, there is a strong consensus
that its present rate is excessive.

Slash and burn
Two-thirds of global deforestation is a re-
sult of the practices of desperately poor people
who live on the margins of the forest and prac-
tice "slash and burn" agriculture (Coulter,
1992; Vosti and Scherr, 1994; Tribe, 1994). An-
other problem is the logging of tropical hard-
woods, particularly in parts of the world such
as Southeast Asia, where economies are grow-
ing rapidly. Slash and burn agriculture ad-
dresses the inherent soil limitations of tropical
areas. The practice has proven itself sustain-
able for hundreds of years. But with approxi-
mately 500 million poor now living along the
forest margins, population dynamics dictate
that alternatives to slash and burn must be
found (NRC, 1993). To preserve tropical for-
ests these alternatives must be productive,
profitable, and environmentally sustainable.
The CGIAR has taken the lead in conven-
ing a collaborative system-wide initiative en-
titled "Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn." The
partners are the NARS of Cameroon, Brazil,
Indonesia, Peru, and Thailand; the World
Resource Institutes; IITA, the International
Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), IRRI,
the International Food Policy Research Insti-
tute (IFPRI); the International Fertilizer De-
velopment Center; the United Nations
Development Program (UNDP); and the In-
ternational Center for Research in
Agroforestry (ICRAF), the convening center.
As mentioned in Chapter 2, the Global Envi-
ronment Facility (GEF) provides the funding.
The research is focused on the characteriza-
tion of agro-ecosystems on forest margins in
priority ecoregions. The objectives are to

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

quantify major constraints and identify farm-
ers' objectives, to develop a typology of
systems and extrapolation domains, and to
develop and evaluate alternative systems
which could mitigate declining soil fertility
and regenerate degraded forest fallow. U.S.
universities, through their well-documented,
successful experiences in multidisciplinary
and team approaches to natural resource is-
sues, have a great deal to contribute to
ecoregional efforts such as "Alternatives to

Role of tree crops
One relatively sustainable land-use option
for the humid tropical forest lands is tree crop
production, including oil palm, rubber, cacao,
coconuts, and coffee. The food crop mandate
of the CGIAR limits its efforts in this domain.
Strategic and basic science research for the
nonfood crops is consequently not as strong
as it needs to be in many countries where the
NARS are small and biotechnology still rela-
tively undeveloped. U.S. universities could
help fill this void.

Policy reforms and their environmental
Policy research is an overarching area of
natural resource management issues (see Box
3-6). Policy research priorities related to de-
forestation include:

* research on the macroeconomic and
sectoral processes that lead poor farmers
to migrate to environmentally fragile
* the study of institutional reforms needed
to strengthen land tenure rights;
* analysis of the relations between timber

concessions and the pioneering of new
forest margins by small poor farmers;
* evaluation of the role of subsidies and
pricing policies in land clearance and the
adoption of sustainable land uses; and
* research on the means for stabilizing the
distribution and growth of rural popula-
tions through off-farm employment and
income generation opportunities.

Fishery and Coastal Resources
In developing countries, up to 50 million
people are directly involved in fisheries,
aquaculture, and post-harvest handling and
marketing; approximately one billion people
rely on aquatic products as their main source
of animal protein. Of the 200 major marine
economic species worldwide, more than one-
quarter are overexploited, 38 percent are fully
exploited, and only one-third are
underexploited or moderately exploited
(ICLARM, 1994). Local, small-scale artisanall)
fisheries have traditionally provided rela-
tively inexpensive sources of protein in devel-
oping countries. The increasing scarcity of
fishery resources now threatens this protein
source and livelihoods in fisheries. Real prices
of seafood have risen nearly 4 percent annu-
ally in the last ten years, and international
trade has grown from 32 percent of total pro-
duction in 1980 to 38 percent in 1990. In-
creased fish prices and heavy debt burdens
are leading many developing countries, faced
with critical foreign exchange needs, to favor
the interests of large scale modern fishing
fleets over artisanal fishers.
Natural fisheries are so-called "common
pool" resources with open access to use. Un-
like issues affecting forest use, devising rules

Chapter Three

of individual property rights is not an option.
Sustainable harvests require limiting access.
Developed countries have devised regulatory
measures to limit access; however, developing
countries have difficulty in regulating
harvesting intensity in artisanal fisheries.
Therefore, as with much of the nexus between
agriculture and environmental degradation,
alternate employment opportunities must be
found to relieve the pressures on common
pool fisheries.

Besides questions of access, the productiv-
ity of artisanal fisheries is highly dependent
on the maintenance of coastal ecosystems.
The loss and degradation of coastal mangrove
forests and salt marshes to urbanization and
other uses (over one-half of the world's popu-
lation lives within 100 kilometers of the sea)
are seriously affecting fishery resources
worldwide. The task of resolving the conflicts
over coastal resource uses is increasingly de-
volving to local communities. The sustainable

use of these resources requires research to

Box 3-6. Policies to Preserve Tropical Forests

The open-acces extractile hardest of tropi-
cal foresi for tuel%'( od and charcoal is. in mon-
etarN terms. the second most important
agricultural enterprise in the developing world,
with an annual value of dser $60 billion ex-
ceeded only by rice ITAC/CGIAR. 19'?). Yet re-
turns to labor in forestry lend to be somne of the
lowest. When the poor are afforded opportuni-
ties for alternative employment and increased
incomes, their incentive to.walk long distances
in search of fuelkond is reduced. This also in-
creases the capacity of households to move up
the energy ladder to the more expensive forms
of energy. Policies must aim to widen the scope
of employment alternatives and facilitate the
development of efficient allernati\e cooking
technologies (Lele and Mitra. 1994). Without in-
come growth it is hard for farmers to switch to
more costly cooking fuels, and technological
change in forests is often not rapid enough to
alleviate the pressures of growing poverty
(Mitra, 1995) This means solutions to deforesta-
tion may have to be sought.both within aid out-
side the forestry sector. The University of Florida.
jointly with the Tata Energy Research Institute
in India, has been addressing these issues
through a program funded by CIFOR, the Ford
Foundatioln.'SIDA and CIDA. and supported by
the Indian Ministry of Forestry and Environ-
mcn i.

Many communities living on forest margins
manage the resource as a common properly.
The systematic study of group decision mak-
ing for the allocation and management of these
resources can often uncover indigenous insti-
tutions that have been historically able to sus-
tain forest resources but are now under pressure
because of population growth. The reinvigora-
tion and diffusion of these institutions, using
local people to express their rules and collec-
tive structure of governance to others, has been
a successful strategy (Orstrom, 1994).
Land tenure reforms that classify property
rights and relations among individuals, com-
munities, and the state sector can encourage
production of non-timber and non-fuelwood
forest products. Tax system reforms can elimi-
nate incentives for overhtarvestlng. Credit poli-
cies can simplify the developminnt of
mlcroenterprises, including the uppily.'Of l'pr
sene fuels to replace fuelwood..Any 16ng-tprli
strategy to address alternate empl6ymentr pos-.
sibilities must provide suitable education.p-.
poriunities. Once an enqbli g ,p'..
environment for the adoption i.f1)stainal_1
practices has been established,:;fc realmin -t ,'
productivity of those practices th9ula.4o a "
central research effort. "

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

discover alternative coastal use practices that
sustain the productivity of these ecosystems.
Policy, management, and institutional
research at the national, regional, and local
levels can result in ways to achieve appropri-
ate community responses.


Developed countries are technology-rich
but lack the biological diversity of developing
countries. According to the National Research
Council (NRC) (1993), 70 percent of the 3000
plant species known to have anti-cancer prop-
erties come from tropical rain forests. Yet there
is no agreement on the extent of biodiversity
nor on the extent of its loss in these environ-
ments. Less than 1.4 million of the estimated
5 to 100 million species on earth have been
properly named and described. Biodiversity
has three levels- ecosystem, species, and ge-
netic diversity (IPGRI, 1993). The genetic di-
versity within species is the key to their
survival as well as the source for crop and
livestock improvements through modern
breeding techniques. The loss of this genetic
diversity has received less attention than the
disappearance of species or the destruction of
rain forests but is of at least equal concern.
This concern is the major focus of the pro-
posed research program on biodiversity. Also
of concern is the preservation of ecosystems
and their wild species, particularly in centers
of crop origin, where these ecosystems are
home to many primitive and wild forms and
relatives of domesticated crops and animals.

The extent and rate of biodiversity losses are
not well known.
Research topics holding special promise in
Research Program Area 3 are biodiversity in
crops and animals, ownership and intellectual
property rights, and protection of natural

Biodiversity in Crops and Livestock
Biodiversity issues related to food crops
are of direct importance to poor farmers who
are still principal conservators of crop plant
germplasm. Approximately 150 species of
plants comprised of about 250,000 local races
are presently important in meeting human
caloric needs (Wilkes, 1993). There are strong
arguments for maintaining genetic diversity
on-farm as well as in gene banks. Conserva-
tion of on-farm biodiversity is of global im-
portance (see Box 3-7). Primitive cultivars or
land races in farmers' fields are globally the
largest depository of genes and the founda-
tion of modern plant breeding programs.
Breeders have sampled only a small portion
of the variability in this silently shrinking pool
and have included it in the leading cultivars
(Wilkes, 1993). National conservation plans
are in need of biodiversity data in order to
establish or strengthen current programs.
Conservation plans must relate to food and
energy issues affecting the poor.
The rich genetic diversity of livestock in-
digenous to tropical areas lies largely
uncharacterized and underutilized. Many of
these populations have adapted genetically to
the various environmental stresses found in
the tropics. The interregional transfer of these
genetic adaptations can better support live-
stock production with reduced need for

Chapter Three

chemical interventions (for example, medi-
cines and acaricides).
Farms and herds in fragile ecosystems are
especially important as in situ repositories of
traditional varieties and breeds of livestock.
When modern varieties of crops or livestock
are introduced to a farming region, genetic
diversity is lost if traditional varieties are
completely replaced by a few genetically
similar modern varieties. Individual farmers
tend to benefit most years by shifting to the
new varieties, even if the society as a whole
does not. But in drought years or years of ma-
jor pests and diseases, homogeneity of the
gene pool can be disastrous. Given a likely
conflict between individual and social gain, in
situ maintenance of biodiversity may well
need to be supported by the whole of society.
How precisely this should occur is not clear.
Alternative models of social support need to
be analyzed to draw conclusions.
Research is needed to inventory and study
methods for designing and maintaining both
in situ and ex situ genetic resources. Gene
transfers and molecular markers are impor-
tant tools for this research.

Ownership and Intellectual Property
The challenges in this area include im-
proving productivity in a sustainable manner
while resolving the conflicts between claims
of national heritage versus farmers rights ver-
sus plant and animal breeders' rights versus
global needs for biodiversity conservation
and open access to germplasm. Developing
countries are keen to acquire the technologi-
cal, financial, and legal means to develop and
protect the value of their biodiversity. The

crucial question is how to safeguard the inter-
est of source countries without restricting the
exchange of genetic material. Developing
countries are beginning to place restrictions
on access to their genetic resources, prompted
by the observation, for example, that
transnational corporations profit greatly from
pharmaceuticals derived from tropical plants.
In 1992 the United Nations Conference on the
Environment and Development (UNCED)
recognized national ownership of biological
resources, clearly supporting the legitimacy of
such restrictions.
The CGIAR has the world's largest collec-
tion of crop germplasm and has traditionally
provided unrestricted access to this
germplasm for increasing food production. It
has likewise freely distributed improved
germplasm and repatriated genetic resource
collections that were abandoned or lost in
developing countries. CGIAR centers and re-
searchers now face the dilemma of continuing
to allow unlimited access or helping with the
realization of national heritage claims to com-
pensation for indigenous germplasm.

Protecting Natural Ecosystems
Preservation of natural diversity provides
genetic resources for future use. Information
on the role of protected species in agricultural
productivity and environmental
sustainability is needed by national conserva-
tion planners in their efforts to preserve natu-
ral diversity. Conservation plans should relate
to food and energy issues affecting the poor,
including the role of wild species and indig-
enous knowledge. As discussed in Chapter 1,
the intensification of agriculture and allevia-
tion of rural poverty are key elements in

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Box 3-7. Combining Indigenous Knowledge with New Science to Achieve In Situ Gene
Conservation and Crop Improvement in Mexico

Me\iCor i a cradle of origin for irnimn crop
plant spec'ie'. mnli-,L ioLabl injlle and beans.
Fartl'er' in N\leico haie eor thiutsiands o0l %ear'
Je\eloped \%arlieiics onl ntize. hean'. and squalsh
that are kc.\ componenls of ihe milpa faiiinin
sisteins. This dli\ersii hbufrl'rrs ag inst tempo-
ral and patiald \llliatio Ill clinmiate'i s ils. ind
pe'st. Se'cial tacLior-, are no\\ threatening his
diler'iiy including the inllrodliiio11l of illodlle
i ir ile s anild inoiic'ultlire: increaing colmilner-
ciali/,itiol. c~peciall\ illt thel North minericaii
Fiee Tr.ide A.greeimeint iNAFTAr. and the lo, ot
lihlltlal ll.llhiltt Utippoitin il lld and l Li\ed.
crip iclati\ s UI s L. ti' b1\ IlcreaMlli' LiIhliilZ;iioI1
and a-frii'ilitir.il eI\p;inion The 11nil'tlenoti.I
kino\\ledge of traditional Itechlologmie i alo
eroding Ja J result ol the migration of laiiiing
people 10i Uil.i iillei ,.
A LuniL ile. niltlidi sciplinlUr.. ierniaiomli l.
ollaboiiatile crop ie_-eatch prograin funded b
the MNcKnilghn Foundation in\ol\e. crop uIn-
pro'\tfn'ent Lind genetic lesocirCe coin eriml oni in
Ilie inilpia ltai tinu1 \slmein. The projecIt Will iie
and aJd ane ioi'elpt from etlinohiologN. etlh-
nobhoiltan. eVOlLiIioilar\ biology. gcnelIe,. plant
hieeding. and economlnis. The overall objecti es
ie 10 inllpiuO e Ciop proiudtlci llly JId 10 tf'lel

preserving natural ecosystems from cultiva-
Promising areas for research include
policy studies to promote conservation and
restoration of natural habitat; utilization of
GIS to monitor (a) wild species and their habi-
tats and (b) the ecological impact from
agricultural practices; the use of molecular
biological methodologies to preserve
germplasm; and research on more effective
utilization of species biodiversity.

the ConserYlation and 1iilir.tion of native Oe 11 L' ic
resource, directly\ to farmers' fields in Mexico.
Moleie ula i genetic tools \will tLa ilitate the
stud% ot genetic diser\ '0 and gene thlo
bet een.lor in' .ancel Iaize and teo'inle. lhe
t\eed\ progenitor of maiJe Soci.oeconomic and
ethlnobotanica.l research \\s ll anal ie larnier de-
ciI'oI making and the inipact ol taliiots eco-
noinic and .ocitial par.imeltei l including
inldl 'eeCIloi kino\ ledge i on the level of
biodisersit\ iassal% ed bi moleeutlai genetic tooli
in iarmnerSi' fieldJ On-famin bieeding niieihods
i'll 1a' ili. a' 111 lectionl \till. h% e ihancinll [lie
ploidtli, \ il l of Inilpl.i eoplinll.g ',lI.e Iatelllip
to increase f.irme in.ceni\ l e- for reti' ning their
land ra'es and the hiodi\erits\ uilthin
The tio lead instltutmon,. the National Au-
io noIo't Iillnvel'tL Of NlI\ico and tihe Uinlier-
;i[.\ of CJliforil.i-DaJ si. jie \'.orkkiin \ itli
collaboraiors' at1 ,o other NMe\ican uniteladiice
the Nle\icani N.ation.l In-stittie foi Forctir\. A\ -
iicultiUle ld i .I e'toc'k Re .ie'ih i NIFAPi.
three other l.f S. JnJd-Lramil inm erlt ies'le. and
CINIMYT This prograin is a prine e\amiple of
the t.\pe, of innotlati\' re'sea.reh and collabh ra-
tise linkages ihat the GREAN initali\e seeks to
eni'tion rilge.

i ;?.:- i -wH OOFCA* A!Rf A !i 4:
COPrQ M 4j r Al hU;-ER' lAtN

Climate change is a serious public concern
in the North and among the low-lying
developing countries such as Bangladesh and
the island states in the Caribbean and Pacific,
but among other developing countries there
is much less interest. Often, more immediate
environmental concerns command their

Chapter Three

attention. The local effects of deforestation on
water, soils, biodiversity, and productivity are
more recognizable and perhaps more impor-
tant for resource users than the contribution
of deforestation to climate change. While in-
dividual farmers are unlikely to consider the
impacts of their practices on global warming,
there is evidence to suggest that global
warming will have its greatest impact on ag-
riculture in the developing countries
(Rosenzweig and Parry, 1994).
Agricultural activities including deforesta-
tion do not play as large a role as industrial
pollution in increasing current atmospheric
concentrations of greenhouse gases or in alter-
ing the global carbon balance. Yet the contri-
bution of agriculture to annual emissions of
greenhouse gases is about 25 percent. Major
emissions from the agricultural and environ-
mental nexus include carbon dioxide and ni-
trous oxide released by deforestation; carbon
dioxide from the mineralization of soil or-
ganic matter and the oxidation of carbon
translocated by soil erosion, methane, and
nitrous oxide produced by irrigated rice sys-
tems; nitrous oxide emissions following high
rates of fertilization; and methane emissions
from enteric fermentation by ruminants. The
burning of tropical forests is the major biologi-
cal source and releases about 1.6 billion tons
of carbon per year, one-third of the fossil fuel
Atmospheric concentrations of carbon di-
oxide increased from a pre-industrial level of
285 ppm to 350 ppm in 1990, primarily as a
result of land-use changes (clearing original
forests for agriculture). Current emissions,
however, result mainly from the burning of

fossil fuels. It is expected that greenhouse gas
levels could double within the next 60 to 100
years (Rosenzweig and Parry, 1994; Tinker,
1994). The predicted impact on global mean
temperatures varies from 1.40 C to 5.2 C de-
pending on the choice of global climate model
(IPCC, 1994; Rosenzweig and Parry, 1994). All
models predict, however, that the increase in
temperatures will be greater at the poles than
at the equator.
Incorporating the results of three different
global climate models, crop models, and a
global trade model, Rosenzweig and Parry
(1994) show that although food production
may remain relatively unchanged globally,
the spatial distribution of production will
shift in favor of the northern latitudes. The
difficulty of forecasting simultaneous changes
in climate, technology, and economic param-
eters complicates the estimation of these im-
pacts (Tinker, 1994). Developing country
policymakers need detailed regional climate
models that incorporate the effects of defor-
estation and other land uses on precipitation.
It is important to create awareness about
the role of agricultural practices on the green-
house effect and to identify technical and
policy considerations that will enhance wide-
spread adoption of beneficial carbon-seques-
tering practices. By encouraging ecologically
sound land use practices, significant climate
change may be mitigated and local environ-
mental sustainability assured. Farmers can
employ a wide range of soil, water, and crop
management practices to enhance soil organic
carbon content.
U.S. universities and research institutes
are at the forefront of global change research

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

and should rapidly integrate these efforts
with the global research system. Among the
many examples of U.S. university research on
global climate change, we can cite only a few:
the examination of soil chemistry trends asso-
ciated with global change (Pennsylvania
State); the genetic regulation of photorespira-
tion; plant responses to ozone depletion
(University of Miami); the study of physical
stress in maize (Texas A&M); the manage-
ment of rice fields to control methane emis-
sions (Rice); the study of nitrous oxide and
methane fluxes in agricultural ecosystems
(Michigan State); and soil erosion and carbon
dynamics (Ohio State).
GREAN research programs would aggres-
sively seek to diffuse research findings and
recommendations at the grassroots level by
establishing linkages with NGOs and others
working in areas impacting global change.
The programs currently funded by the GEF
offer good opportunities for partnership in
the development of new management prac-
tices and technologies.
Potential collaborative research topics in
Program Area 4 include:

* impact of soil management, cropping sys-
tems, and land use on carbon sequestra-
* effects of carbon dioxide and temperature
increases on crop yields;
* regional effects on crop production using
global climate models;
* impacts of land-use practices on precipi-
tation patterns and the hydrological cycle;
* impacts of land-use and crop manage-
ment practices on the magnitude of gas-
eous flux, especially in tropical rain

forests, acid savannas, and grassland eco-
* effects of biomass burning and deforesta-
tion on greenhouse gaseous emissions;
* effects of tillage methods, nutrient man-
agement, and agroforestry on ecosystem
carbon balance, gaseous fluxes, and car-
bon sequestration;
* role of multiple and mixed cropping sys-
tems on nutrient cycling and gaseous
* impact of improved forage and pasture
management on carbon sequestration
and enteric fermentation and methane
emissions of ruminants;
* development of new and innovative pas-
toral systems including silvopastoral sys-
tems; and
* development of local and regional policy
and institutional incentives to promote
sustainable land and resource use prac-
tices (see Box 3-8).

These issues have global significance and
require a multidisciplinary team approach,
representing biophysical, socioeconomic, and
political arenas.


Farmer participation in research design
and implementation is to be encouraged for
the purposes of:

* maximizing prospects for adoption of re-
search results;
* incorporating indigenous knowledge in
research innovations; and

Chapter Three

* heightening research responsiveness to
the needs of small-scale farmers, espe-
cially women.

The active participation of farmers in the
research process is essential: first, to
compensate for the traditionally weak link-
ages between small farmers and researchers
in most developing countries; second, to
ensure proper problem identification; third,
because farmers do "folk" experimentation
and can contribute to the research process by
suggesting alternative solutions and appro-
priate prototypes for their particular circum-
stances; and fourth, because they can
participate actively in farm trials and demon-
strations, increasing the speed of adoption. As
was highlighted in Chapter 2, understanding
of farmers' perceptions is crucial for defining
research priorities to avoid an unwanted
stockpile of unused, "on-the-shelf" technolo-
gies. To ensure the demand-driven nature of
research, researchers must create a systematic
dialogue with their clientele.
Developing cost-effective, innovative ap-
proaches for engaging local communities in
the research process is a major thrust of the
GREAN initiative. Among the several proven
methods of enlisting farmers as research col-
laborators, on-farm adaptive experimentation
is one of the more promising- and challeng-
ing. Several problems have plagued past ef-
forts at conducting on-farm adaptive research
with rigorous statistical analysis, chief among
them the high costs of equipping and training
teams of researchers. Yet a recent CIAT pilot
program, involving groups of farmers in
adaptive technology testing as a "scaling up"

Box 3-8. Impacting Global Climate
Change Through Alterations In
The University of Florida Agroforestry De-
velopment Program for Small Producers oper-
ates in the state of Acre, Brazil, in a partnership
with the Agroforestry Systems Research and
Extension Group of Acre (PESACRE), a local
NGO, and local communities to help reduce
pressures leading to deforestation in the Bra-
zilian Amjzon. Deforestation in the Amazon
is linked to the instability of small producer
communities. Systems of diversified forest ex-
traction and agroforestry are being adapted to
diverse kinds of rural populations: agricultural
colonists, extractivsts, and indigenous peoples.
The program's two goals are to improve the
livelihood of local communities and reduce
Research and training occur in several pro-
gram areas: socioeconomic and gender analy-
sis: economic anal sis; ecological viability
studies: agroforestry systems; and communiry-
scale GIS for land-use planning. Data derived
from the research is also used to inform the glo-
bal climate change program. PESACRE is ad-
ditionally working with the ICRAF-led
"*Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn" project, as-
sisting in the diagnosis and characterization of
farming systems in project areas.

response to the high costs of involving farm-
ers in research (Ashby, et al., 1995), has dem-
onstrated the high quality of
farmer-conducted research. Of the 273 trial
plots conducted by 48 community-based
farmer groups, 75 percent could be used for
formal statistical analysis; the farmers could
draw useful conclusions from 90 percent of
the trials conducted. Developing cost-effec-
tive innovative approaches for engaging local
communities in the research process is a
strong theme of the GREAN initiative.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Accessing Farmer Knowledge
Indigenous agricultural knowledge is dis-
appearing at an alarming rate. Native peoples
have developed astoundingly complex and
diverse resource-use systems, some of which
have been supporting populations for thou-
sands of years.
Local institutional adaptations for manag-
ing common pool resources when developed
by indigenous peoples are often more easily
understood and transferred to neighboring
communities than many "expert" solutions
(Orstrom, 1994). Similarly the above-men-
tioned CIAT study of 48 farmer groups found
that farmer groups benefit from the other
groups' experimentation and are motivated
by it. The active involvement of indigenous
people in the research and development pro-
cess, as mandated for GREAN research pro-
grams, helps to ensure that they become
owners of the innovation process and adopt-
ers of their own research.
Indigenous systems were developed
through long experimentation in a period of
relatively slow population growth with few
pressures on natural resources. The involve-
ment of indigenous people in research and
development can help us understand how
resilient and productive these traditional sys-
tems can be in modern times. The dynamics
of rapid population growth and the resulting
doubling in the global demand for food will
bring inevitable changes; the key is to identify
and retain those components of indigenous
systems that can facilitate beneficial change in
a culturally acceptable manner.

The Important Yet Inadequately
Recognized Role of Women
In Chapter 1 we outlined the central role
that rural women play in meeting the triple
challenge of hunger, environmental degrada-
tion, and population growth. Among the most
important objectives of including farmer
participation as a cross-cutting theme are the
explicit targeting of rural women's knowl-
edge and their articulation of sustainability
and productivity problems.
Women farmers are often overlooked by
male-dominated extension and research sys-
tems. In Africa male-headed households are
nearly twice as likely to receive an extension
visit as are female-headed households
(Quisumbing, 1993). A recent survey of
CGIAR scientists explored their perceptions
of gender. An overwhelming majority viewed
concern over gender issues as mainly a re-
sponse to donor and senior management in-
terest. Fewer scientists perceived gender
analysis as relevant to research outcomes and
efficiency, while a far lesser number expressed
concerns related to equity and empowerment
of women (Feldstein, 1995). Research institu-
tions could enhance their relevance to women
farmers and, most importantly, access the best
technical talent available by hiring more
women researchers.
Although investment in agricultural re-
search and technology focusing on women is
urgent, it is clearly not enough. A concerted
effort at improving the economic, health, le-
gal, and social status of women and children
through policy reforms is needed. Increased
educational opportunities for rural women, as
called for in the recent UN conferences in

Chapter Three


Cairo and Beijing, are a necessary comple-
ment. Women's education stands out as the
most consistent factor affecting human fertil-
ity rates and has been positively associated
with their productivity as farmers (Moock,
1976; Bongaarts, 1994). Public health mea-
sures addressed toward reducing child
mortality also lower fertility rates. Research
conducted in any of the four GREAN research
program areas (productivity, natural re-
sources, biodiversity, or climate change)
should identify both women's needs and the
potential gender impacts of innovations. In-
novations should be developed that reflect
the multiple roles of rural women and girls,
which include:

* producing food and other agricultural
* storing, processing, and transporting to
market and selling of produce;
* fetching water and fuelwood gathering;
* meeting children's food, nutrition, and
health needs;
* saving and investing in assets;
* participating in decision-making;
* organizing community activities; and
* conceiving and bearing children.

Despite numerous studies documenting
the long hours women spend in numerous
household activities and the existence of ex-
tensive barriers in access to property rights,
education, health, credit, and extension ser-
vices, most agricultural research does not ad-
equately reflect these realities.
How would an agricultural research and
development program address women's fun-
damental role and the barriers hindering their
empowerment? It would:

* help increase productivity of crops grown
by women and develop resource manage-
ment practices suited to their roles as
natural resource managers;
* enhance women's property and use
* develop labor-saving devices to aid
women in such tasks as supplying house-
hold water, milling, fuelwood gathering,
and food processing;
* address women's and children's health
issues which directly affect productivity
and child mortality, and thereby indi-
rectly affect population fertility;
* improve nutrition;
* tackle problems of water quality and
sanitation; and
* improve access to credit.

The numerous active women's groups
found throughout the developing world are
potential partners in research. Many are al-
ready working collaboratively with U.S. uni-
versities. The University of Florida's
Managing the Environment and Resources
with Gender Emphasis (MERGE) program is
a noteworthy example (see Box 3-9).


Agricultural research and development is
most likely to succeed in a favorable policy
environment. Research and good policies
must not be seen as alternatives but must go
hand in hand. Macroeconomic and sectoral
policies encourage private investment by pro-
viding the critical economic incentives for
farmers to adopt improved technology in the
process leading to job creation.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Farmer adoption of new technology is a
critical area of micro-level socioeconomic re-
search (Vosti et al., 1992) which has received
very little attention. Why do farmers adopt,
not adopt, or return to traditional technology
after adopting? Answers to these questions
provide crucial feedback to researchers and
policymakers trying to foster agricultural in-
novation. Such research requires a
multidisciplinary approach, as a host of
economic, social, cultural, institutional, bio-
logical, and physical factors affect the adop-
tion process, critically influencing the breadth
of farmer participation.
The extent of productive job creation in
agriculture in turn determines the extent of
population pressure on marginal and fragile
lands. As a result of policy failures and ne-
glect of technology development, marginal
areas often tend to be the major recipients of
migrants. Natural resources in marginal lands
also tend to be degraded. With limited eco-
nomic opportunities, many are forced by pov-
erty to invade common property natural
resources such as forests and artisanal fisher-
ies. To increase rural economic opportunities
in these traditionally neglected areas often re-
quires substantial public investments in rural
education, infrastructure, and rural public
health in order to stimulate private invest-
ments in non-farm rural enterprises. Policy
analysis of the economic, social, and envi-
ronmental returns to these various invest-
ments is an area of high priority. Agricultural
and environmental research to achieve eco-
nomically and environmentally sustainable
agricultural land uses is also needed.

Management of degraded resources-par-
ticularly open access, common pool re-
sources-also requires close attention to a wide
variety of social institutions which have
evolved over time to allocate these resources.
Local community-based institutional arrange-
ments offer many lessons for the establish-
ment of secure user rights (Orstrom, 1994).
Yet because improvements in agriculture
cannot be the only solution to the problem of
poverty, policies and institutions must also
create plenty of productive employment in
the nonagricultural sector. For example, even
in the United States with its advanced sci-
ence-based agriculture, there have been few
"agricultural solutions" to the problems of
resource degradation and poverty in regions
such as Appalachia.
While policy reforms are widening the
economic incentives in developing countries,
the very uneven economic performance
among countries undertaking reforms sug-
gests that there is still much to be learned
about the relations between economic growth
and the public policy environment. Policy re-
search needs to provide decision makers with
a better understanding of the conditions
under which macroeconomic and sectoral
policy reforms are effective. The optimal se-
quencing of reforms is also an area where
there is still much to be learned. The relative
importance of structural factors, such as lack
of human capital formation, roads, rural elec-
trification, incomplete markets, underavail-
ability of ready-to-go inventions, and the
capacity of the entrepreneurial class, must be
identified and quantified if good public poli-
cies are to be designed.

Chapter Three

Box 3-9. Managing the Environment and Resources with Gender Emphasis (MERGE)

The MERGE program at the Ltni\ersity of
Florida is addressing the important role of
women, former\ neglected at the grassroots
le\el. through polic.. training. networking. and
technical applications Three features distin-
guish the MERGE strategy\ for sustainable rural
de\elrpment: I I a ubhstanti~e focus_ combin-
ing alientuon to gender. parlicipatory ap-
proaches with local comuinlliities and resource
inanaiernent. 121 the development and testing
of research methodologie-. training program.
and gender anal.si-s nel\works: and 131 collabo-
rati\e research and development partnerships
IIn pccitic sites.
MERGE began in 1992. It is currently build-
ing on the Uni\ersity of Florida's longstanding
strengths in tropical agriculture and ecology .
larming sy-tems research, and gender analysis,
in agriculture through several collaborative
projects in Brazil. Ecuador. and Peru MERGE
projects receive support from USAID's Global
Climate Change Program and from the
MacArthur Foundation's Initiative on Gender
and Natural Resource Management. The objec-
tives of these projects include:

the development of training materials and
approaches to gender analy si for profes-
sionals involved in natural resource man-
agement research and outreach activities;

Past research has shown that policies af-
fecting land tenure, marketing and prices, and
education can critically decide the extent to
which population growth has a positive or
negative impact on productivity and
sustainability. Policies that proscribe land
ownership, suppress prices, neglect education
in rural areas, or deny small farmers access to
credit can result in the involution of rural
communities (Lele and Stone, 1989). In con-
trast, favorable policies can enhance
productivity even in the face of rapid popu-
lation growth (Mortimore, 1989).

* greater incorporation of gender consider-
ations % hen implementing grassroots natu-
ral resource management programs and
* developing the capacity of professionals to
provide future training in gender analysis
and natural resource management;
* strengthening linkages and networks for
tender analysis and natural resource man-
agement; and
* evaluating the methodologies and training
approaches developed for transfer to other
sites in Latin America and other develop-
ing regions.

The GREAN initiative recognizes the strong
need to integrate women's issues in the sustain-
able rural development research agenda The
expertise and insights developed by training par-
ticipants in programs such as MERGE will en-
hance the effectiveness of research on natural
resource management and in particular the ef-
fectiveness of development programs at the
grassroots le\el. The GREAN initiative supports
efforts such as MERGE both for their substan-
tive focus on rural development and for their
contribution in overcoming cultural gender bi-
ases at research institutions.

Policy, socio-economic, and institutional
analyses are integral to all GREAN research
program areas. Some of the research issues
meriting attention include:

* macroeconomic issues of public finance,
exchange rates, and trade policies that
discriminate against agriculture in many
developing countries;
* pricing policies in input and output mar-
kets that greatly affect profitability and
price risks that are, in turn, significant de-
terminants of technology adoption;

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

* the systematic influences of community,
state, and national governance on sus-
tainable rural development;
* the impact, on the productivity of the
poor, of the recent sharp drops in the
share of public investments for agricul-
* the agricultural trade policies of indus-
trial countries, which have a great impact
in poor rural areas of the developing
world, (in recent years, annual Organiza-
tion of Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) agricultural subsi-
dies and transfers alone exceeded the to-
tal GDP of sub-Saharan Africa by roughly
$70 billion and of South Asia by $33 bil-
lion; these subsidies and transfers have
contributed to declining global agricul-
tural prices and have thereby reduced in-
centives for agricultural development in
developing countries while subjecting the
natural environment in OECD countries
to numerous stresses);
* public health policies, which can have a
great influence on labor productivity in
smallholder agriculture;
* population policies addressing access to
family planning services and the "de-
mand" for children; policies should seek
to lower child mortality through better
health care services and by improving the
nutrition, education, earnings, and legal
status of women and children;
* cultural, social, political and economic
factors that determine land tenure and
water rights and can thereby decide re-
source use (or misuse); and
* the optimal design of intellectual property
rights to encourage the private sector's

supply of new developments in biotech-
nology and computer science; this issue is
far from resolved in many developing

We have as yet been unable to design in-
stitutional innovations or policy reforms that
can guide the organization of sustainable so-
cieties and assure intergenerational equity at
even the most abstract, theoretical level
(Ruttan, 1994a). Therefore, we need to pro-
ceed in something more than an ad hoc
manner to devise such institutions and re-
The foregoing review of the GREAN re-
search agenda demonstrates the need for an
institution such as GREAN. Impressive, im-
portant research now being conducted at U.S.
universities, could, if the essential connections
were made, improve the productivity and
sustainability of agriculture in developing
countries. At the same time, research focused
on the most pressing concerns in agriculture
for developing countries could enhance and
stimulate research useful for the farmer in the
United States. GREAN seeks to improve the
quality and effectiveness of research collabo-
ration. In the following chapter, we describe
the proposed partners in this cooperative en-

Chapter Three

We are at a crossroads,
and it is incumbent upon us
to act. We must act for the
poor and the hungry of the
world, and for the children of
the poor and the marginalized
of today, who will be hungry
a decade from now, if we do
not act now.

Consultative Group on
International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR) Chairman
Ismail Serageldin in
his opening address at the
CGIAR Mid-Term Meeting,
New Delhi, May 1994







The New Playing Field

The Global System for Agricultural Research

The U.S. University System

The CGIAR System

The National Agricultural Research Systems

Nongovernmental Organizations

U.S. Foundations: Catalysts for Change

A Vision of the Global Research System

Annex 1. Biotechnology in Developing Countries


Much has changed since the first Green
Revolution, although the basic problem of
feeding a growing population remains press-
ing. Not only have the relative importance of
the global actors in agricultural research and
their funding levels changed over time, but
the world stage around them has undergone
dramatic alterations. Thus, to meet the chal-
lenges of the 21st century, we will not be able
to return to the relationships of the past.
The GREAN initiative is proposing to har-
ness the energies of U.S. universities in a pro-
gram of collaborative research and adoption
to be conducted in partnership with the
CGIAR centers and the NARS to respond to
these changed circumstances. To evaluate the
potential for this ambitious collaborative ef-
fort, we must first take stock of the proposed
partners as we find them today. Accordingly,
in this chapter we aim to do the following:

* First, we will review several of the impor-
tant global trends that have emerged since
the first Green Revolution and their im-
plications for agricultural/environmental
* Second, we will briefly outline the current
nature of the global research system, to bet-
ter appreciate the position of these play-
ers on the new global playing field.
* Third, we will assess the varied capacities of
the U.S. universities, the CGIAR centers and
the NARS: Where are they today? Where
have they been? And, where are they go-
ing? At what levels) of research do they
excel? What are their comparative
strengths and deficiencies?

* We will conclude the chapter with a vision
for improving the global research system by
taking advantage of the complementary
strengths of the major actors.

The goal is to meet the projected doubling
of developing country food demand in the
next thirty years by increasing the agricultural
productivity of their poor small farmers in an
environmentally sustainable fashion. An im-
portant objective on the way to its achieve-
ment will be heightening the effectiveness of
the global research system.


While the priority of increasing the output
of agricultural research institutions is greater
than ever, radically different realignments are
occurring among and within institutions in
response to such global changes as the end of
the Cold War, mounting environmental con-
cerns, and increased trade liberalization. Con-
currently, advances in biotechnology, social
analysis, information sciences, and global
communications are influencing the nature of
international research. At the same time, a
global scarcity of public funds for agricultural
research and questioning of the appropriate
role of the public sector are creating pressure
for new, more efficient ways to conduct sci-
These developments offer substantial
scope for increasing the payoffs to global ag-
ricultural and environmental research
through the formation of strategic alliances
between developing countries, industrialized
countries, and the CGIAR system. These glo-
bal trends include:

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

* powerful new research tools not yet widely
employed in solving developing country
agricultural and related environmental
problems, such as the geographical infor-
mation systems (GIS) which have been
made possible by the extensive use of re-
mote sensing. Other examples are the pre-
cision application of crop nutrients, the
production of recombinant DNA, mo-
lecular markers, gene mapping, and gene
* improved economic incentives for farmers as
a result of policy reforms and trade liber-
* democratization in many developing coun-
tries which is beginning to provide rural
populations with the political voice that
is crucial for developing small farm agri-
* the emergence of community and farmer or-
ganizations and NGOs as significant part-
ners in adapting and transferring new
technologies to small rural households.

At the same time, several developments
have radically changed the costs and benefits
of collaborative research endeavors. These

* the complexity of the new agenda of research
on the environmental/agricultural nexus,
which calls for a multitude of disciplines
working at various levels from the mo-
lecular to the macroeconomic. This type
of research is expensive, and yet its
growth in industrialized countries is
spawning the generation of new knowl-
edge on a large scale (see Box 4-1).
* phenomenal scientific breakthroughs in infor-
mation and communication technology that,

coupled with the market deregulation of
the telecommunications industry, are rap-
idly lowering the costs of exchanging
information on a global basis. In the
United States alone the real cost of inter-
national telecommunications has de-
creased threefold since the 1982 deregu-
lation ruling. The extensive use of

Box 4-1. Addressing a New Agricuitural/
Environmental Agenda
Recognizing the growing complexity of re-
search problems,. a prestigious group of scien-
tists invited by the National Research Council
(NRC) defined the current research agenda in
the following terms:
* solving the problems of competitiveness. a high
quality food supply, and natural resomrces and lit
environment will require mnucl more new knowledge
than was required to solve previous problems. (As
an example) . genetically engineered bioconitru
agents for pest management . iill likely take a
10-fold increase In understanding of the biology of
such agents and their survival and action in vari-
ous ecosystenms before such engineered biological
control agents can be effectively developed d nd used.
Thie knowledge needed must come from a
number of disciplines. such as biochemistry, ge-
netics, physiology, plant patholog). entomology.
plant biology, ecosystems analysis, agronomy,
and economics, among others. The specific dis-
ciplinary knowledge must then be integrated
into effective production systems. The knowl-
edge'rf'quired fat itlascendl that necessary for
the current chemical based technologies. The
necessary new knowledge is unlikely to be ac-
quired ihd expediently applied without substantial
new tfilding (1994: 47-48).
The NRC in its National Research Initiative
(NRI) has called for $500 million annually to
foster -tesearch' in the public'sector on these is-
sues. The NRI is currently funded at slightly
more than $100 million and is administered by
the United States departmentt of Agrictiture

Chapter Four

electronic mail across international bor-
ders has similarly increased the speed
and reduced the cost of communication
* the high fixed costs of utilizing more complex
scientific techniques, especially in biotech-
nology. These have increased the econo-
mies of scale in research, thus increasing
the scope for trade in research services.
For instance, construction costs of the Bio-
technology Building at Cornell University
amounted to $56 million (Holsten, 1995).
Realistically, many small countries cannot
afford to invest in the facilities and per-
sonnel that are necessary to conduct ad-
vanced biological research; however, they
stand to benefit from the investments
made in industrialized countries.
* constrained public expenditures for agricul-
tural and environmental research at all
levels of the global research system make
increasing the efficiency and impact of re-
search institutions more important than

With the changing context of international
agricultural research has come changing ex-
pectations. Thus both the CGIAR centers and
the NARS now find themselves under consid-
erable pressure from the donor community to
show a wider and more rapid impact of their
research results. Both are implicitly or explic-
itly under criticism about the relevance of
their research to the changing needs of
developing countries, for example, the extent
to which the current research addresses the
problems of resource-poor areas and the most
needy farmers; draws on indigenous knowl-
edge; conserves rather than uses resources;

and links up with extension to have a demon-
strable impact on the lives of people includ-
ing women farmers. In short, donors are ex-
pecting future research to have a far broader,
more multidimensional impact-and quickly
(Lele, 1995).
By the same token, the scientific and tech-
nological breakthroughs have indeed created
potential means for meeting or exceeding
such high expectations. Vastly increased im-
pacts of research innovations on farmers
fields now seem possible-if effective alliances
can be formed to realize the new opportuni-

A schematic presentation of the types of
actors currently involved in the conduct of
agricultural research at the global level is
given in Figure 4-1. Those who fund research
are shown in Figure 4-2 (cf. Lele, 1995.)
In reviewing research activities carried out
at various levels in the global system, we find
it useful to distinguish four types of agricul-
tural research-basic, strategic, applied, and
adaptive (see Box 4-2). We recognize, on the
one hand, the considerable difficulty in sepa-
rating those research types in practice, and, on
the other hand, the great need for strong links
along the research spectrum to ensure the ul-
timate impact of research results. Research
generates new knowledge and technologies,
which are then transferred to farmers through
public extension and outreach services,
NGOs, the private sector, and on-farm adap-
tive research.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Overview of Research Organizations
As shown in Figure 4-1, the global agricul-
tural research system consists of three main

* Research systems of industrialized countries
including the public sector research sys-
tems, private sector organizations, uni-
versities, nongovernmental research or-
ganizations, and tropical research organi-
zations. They constitute about 48 percent
of the global research capacity. The U.S.,
the largest among them, alone has annual
agricultural research investments of
about $6 billion with 23,000 PhDs, backed
by 45,000 other Ph.Ds working at the
more basic end of the spectrum.

* Research systems of developing countries also
include diverse organizations. In this re-
port, the term "NARS" (national agricul-
tural research system) is defined broadly
to include all national organizations
which conduct agricultural research and
extension. As indicated in Figure 4-1, a
NARS typically encompasses research
institutes (NARI), universities, local
NGOs and farmer organizations, and pri-
vate firms, in addition to the relevant
government organizations. The NARS
share of global research capacity is esti-
mated to be equal to that of industrialized
countries, at roughly 48 percent.
* International research organizations include
the CGIAR centers and other institutions.

Chapter Four


The CGIAR, with its 1000 scientists, con-
stitutes only 4 percent of total global re-
search capacity, although its influence is
far greater than this figure would suggest.

The character and capabilities of the NARS
and the CGIAR system will be reviewed
rather extensively in the pages to come.
Among the industrialized country actors, only
the universities system of the United States
will be examined in depth, since the GREAN
initiative is focused on mobilizing U.S. uni-
versity science. Yet GREAN also represents an
invitation to other industrialized countries to
join in collaborative research and extension
efforts. Indeed, Germany and the European
Union already have similar initiatives under

way to increase intra-country and inter-coun-
try institutional coordination. Several British,
Dutch, Japanese, and Australian universities
have made important contributions.
A number of industrialized countries have
continued to remain an important source of
basic science and graduate level training to
developing countries. The resources of just
three countries, France, the U.K., and Austra-
lia are sketched here to indicate the substan-
tial role of other industrialized countries in
international agriculture research. Other ma-
jor players of course include Germany and
other Western European nations, Japan (now
the world's largest bilateral donor for agricul-
tural assistance), and Canada.

Taskforce on Research Innovations for Productivity and Sustainability

Figure 4.2. Funding of the Global Agricultural Research System, 1995

-- -"


Box 4-2. The Research and Development Continuum

Research administrators typically distinguish
four levels of research to aid in their allocation
of resources. These segments of the research coLn-
tiuutmr. namelN. basic. strategic. applied, and
adaptive. are sequences in a _trenm lof knov.l-
edge generation v ith the objectne. inter alia. of
generating welfare-improving technologies.
Their actual transfer to the intended clientele re-
quires institutions, for dilfusing the knows ledge
a-sociated tnh new\ technologies. Achie\ ing the
mal\iniuttii impact and ellecliivenc-s ilequires
tiong linkages among researchers., the inslitu-
nions in\iol'ed in technology\ transfer. and the in-
tended clientele.

Basic research in'olecs tile searchh for
knimoledue and Lindei lstiandiing of haic orgaiisimn
functions or physical phenomena. The unra'el-
inm off the structure ot DNA b\ Watson and Crick
i, an c\.iniiple of haiic research
Strategic research i. niission-uriented aimed
at solh ing specific piol'leni; 's ith a bro-ad appi-
cation o\et several discipline,. It seek, to de-
velop methodologies and techniques to produce
nes\ knol\\ledge. principles, and undertandin-
tor critical need, Enhanced plant parent lines
that can be use bh numerous countries in applied
crossbreeding progialnm are a good e\anmple.
Applied research develops tangible inten-
tions by adapting slnategie and basic research to

The French tropical agriculture research sys-
tem is perhaps the most extensive one operat-
ing out of the temperate zone. In 1994, it spent
some $260 million on tropical agricultural re-
search, a budget similar in size to the CGIAR's
entire budget. Roughly 1,000 of the French
system's total of 5,000 agricultural research
scientists are engaged in tropical research, the
majority under the auspices of CIRAD. In
1992, CIRAD was reorganized and has at-
tempted to become more responsive to cross-
cutting agricultural issues. ORSTOM's agri-
cultural activities department also trains a

solve or meet field problems or needs. For in-
stance an improved parent line may have rests-
tance to major local pests transferred through
genetic engineering techniques
a Adaptise research inol' es the choice and
e\aluatlon of technological innovations It assess
their performance in a particular agricultural
system i including its socioeconomic actors i and
to then adjust the technology to fit the specific
needs identified. Screening and i[esing are t pi-
call; conducted both on-farlt in i farmer partici-
patory trials and on-s;talion. Foi instance. when
severall iinpro ed \varieties are a's. llable. adap-
tI.e research would d seek it determine those
lost unitedd to local conditions and to identify
additional rese.iich problem, ilii need to be
overcome for adoption by tarmers
* Technolog. transfer requires institutions
sL'cli a, national e\ten iloin and oLtre.ach ser-
vices,. the private sector. NGO,. cooperatives.
and rural development piogr:ims to inform the
clientele in the use of the nesw known\ ledge or
technology. Techniques include on-farm demon-
istrtions. incubatoi labs. adoption neti oiks.
and farmer-to-tarnmer e'lichanges The imlpor-
tance of eutenion increases in situations ot poor
communicanll ons infra'truclure .and lo\\ levels of
education among farmers.

large number of developing country agricul-
tural scientists, mainly from the francophone
African countries, and conducts research. It
is questionable, however, whether France's
current funding levels will continue.
Great Britain funds agricultural research
through its Natural Resources and Environ-
ment Department. Most of this research is
basic and strategic; adaptive or applied re-
search is usually funded under bilateral
programs. In 1992 and 1993, $160 million was
allotted to basic and strategic research.

Chapter Four i

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