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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs released last year a report, Agricultural Innovation: The United States in a Changing Global Reality, that examines the implications of the increasingly influential roles of global business, Brazil, China, and India in agricultural research and the limited national research capacity of developing countries.
Authored by University of Minnesota researchers, Philip G. Pardey and Jason M. Beddow, the report makes the case that greater international collaboration and investment in research is needed to safeguard productivity gains made over the past half century and meet future food demand.
The report concludes that most Sub-Saharan African countries could potentially tap at least 15 times (and, on average, nearly 600 times) their locally produced agricultural knowledge by adapting and adopting innovations produced in other countries.
As a follow-up to this study of the Chicago Council, the Council is convening expert roundtables on agricultural research. Highlights include:
- University of Illinois President Robert Easter chaired a session on reinventing the US agricultural research, education, and extension system to meet global challenges.
- Catherine Woteki, Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Extension and Chief Scientist, US Department of Agriculture led a roundtable on opportunities for international coordination in agriculture and food research.
- Ray Goldberg, George M. Moffett Professor of Agriculture and Business, Emeritus, Harvard Business School chaired a discussion on the challenges to scaling up innovations in developing country agrifood systems.
- Later this month, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies will lead a session on promoting resilience in the face of weather volatility and climate change.
- In March, Digital Green CEO Rikin Gandhi will chair a roundtable to discuss opportunities to leverage the digital revolution to advance food and nutrition security in emerging economies.