This is the message from the report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) launched on the 15 April 2008.
The report addresses the following questions:
- What challenges does agriculture face today?
- What are the pros and cons of bioenergy?
- Can biotechnology help meet the growing demand for food?
- How is climate change threatening agriculture?
- How is food production affecting health?
- How can agriculture make better use of natural resources?
- Why haven’t small farmers benefited more from global trade?
- Is there a role for traditional farming in the future of agriculture?
- Why are women key to successful agricultural policy?
- What are the options for action?
The assessment, the result of a 3-year effort by about 400 experts from around the world, was sponsored by the United Nations, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an independent financial organization that provides grants to developing countries. Five U.N. agencies were involved: the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), the U.N. Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Additional individuals, organizations and governments participated in a peer review process.
Summary of the report or view the summary and the full IAASTD Synthesis Report online.
IAASTD Press Release
BBC News item - Global food system 'must change' (15/04)
AllAfrica: Africa: Reinventing Agriculture
The East African: UN scientists say industrial agriculture has failed (14/04)