18th September 2013. The SDSN Thematic Group on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems released their report Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. TECHNICAL REPORT FOR THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA (108 pages)
The new, agriculture, report was released together with six other reports by the network’s thematic groups on issues including health, natural resource management, and ecosystem services and biodiversity.
The reports represent a major input by scientists towards a new set of global development goals to replace the Millennium Development Goalsin 2015.
SciDev 19/09: Research funding and skills key to food for post-2015. The report notes that only well-trained scientists and agricultural practitioners can provide the innovation and drive to bring about the necessary change.
Aggrey Agumya, senior technical advisor at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, based in Ghana, believes that the capacity gap is so acute in many countries that even a doubling of public research spending might be insufficient. He says that:
“The seriousness of the problem is masked by the fact that any spending increases often go on better salaries rather than improvements to infrastructure and research networks. But the greatest problem is not the lack of researchers but the inability of institutions to apply findings in ways that bring practical benefits. To improve this, great efforts must be made to strengthen agricultural institutions’ planning and governance capacities to maximise research benefits”.