The Role of International Agricultural Research in Contributing to Global Food Security and Poverty Alleviation: The case of the CGIAR
Considering the deep pessimism about the limits to growth that prevailed throughout much of the 60s and early 70s, the rapid growth in food crop productivity and food supplies triggered by the Green Revolution was a remarkable achievement. The driving force behind this success was the application of modern science for enhancing food crop productivity, particularly in the favorable production environments. The CGIAR played a crucial role in adapting scientific knowledge to the conditions of developing countries as well as in coordinating international efforts in transferring technologies across national boundaries. Implicit in the CGIAR mission was, and still remains today, a primary focus on the production of international public goods (IPGs), i.e., goods that are non-exclusive in access and non-rival in use, and that have widespread applicability, i.e., of potential use beyond national boundaries. This chapter focus on the origins, evolution and major accomplishments of the CGIAR and its partners in meeting global food security and poverty reduction goals, and highlights the challenges facing the CGIAR in the decades ahead. Particular attention is paid to the existing evidence on the diffusion and impacts of CGIAR products and to the evidence on the rates of return to international agricultural research investments. The broader impacts of the CGIAR on poverty and food security are discussed. The chapter ends with a discussion of the future need for and the challenges facing the CGIAR.
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