The recent Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) organized by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) in Montpellier, France, brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the direction of agricultural research and how it can contribute to increased agricultural productivity and reduced poverty and hunger in developing countries.
ASTI data was prominently featured in the discussions at the conference as it is the most comprehensive source of information on agricultural R&D capacity and investments in developing countries. During the opening session, Jacques Diouf and Hafez Ghanem, director general and assistant director general of the FAO cited ASTI’s latest global growth rates to support their statements. ASTI’s results for Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean were presented during the regional presentations of APAARI and FORAGRO. Also, the draft report of the conference Transforming Agricultural Research for Development , led by Uma Lele, relied heavily on various ASTI outputs.
The Road Map to transform the agricultural research for development system advocates action on a variety of fronts. This includes the need for a monitoring and reporting system for an evolving transformation of the agricultural R4D global system. Currently, ASTI is funded through project proposals and has not been able to collect data more regularly and across all regions. As a result, the last global update on public agricultural R&D investments has now fallen behind by a decade. Upgrading ASTI from a project-funded activity to a permanent mechanism, as proposed by Uma Lele and her team, would enable more timely updates.