A new report issued by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs says that “research and development (R&D) is essential to sparking the innovations and approaches needed for today’s growers and food producers to increase productivity, produce more nutritious food, use fewer resources, and adapt to climate change”…and suggests that “the United States must lead a reorientation of the agriculture research enterprise to solve these challenges.”

The report – and its series of recommendations – were compiled from research presented in earlier reports issued by the organization.

Among the recommendations is a call to research universities (land-grant institutions) to “reprioritize scientific agendas” to reflect the most critical food and agriculture needs. An emphasis was also placed on better utilizing existing science, and for public investment in science. An intriguing idea offered was that the U.S. needs to “forge a new science of agriculture.”

The report was prepared by Meagan Keefe. She writes:

The United States needs to double investments in agricultural and food research over the next 10 years to help meet these challenges. It can begin by taking the following actions:

Forge a new science of agriculture to increase productivity sustainably, nutritiously, and economically. Production must be increased while using fewer resources, improving nutrition, and providing solid incomes to food producers.Build research capacity. Support for university and research institutions in developing countries is critical to innovations that work in the local context.

Bolster research on climate change. Research must focus on building resilience and addressing threats to the food system by climate change.

Expand nutrition-sensitive agricultural research. Nutrition should be a key priority of research to combat chronic malnutrition.

Reduce food waste. Innovations for reducing food waste are vital to help offset the production needed to meet increased demand.

An interesting read.


Related Links:

FAO Report: Without universal access to water, no food security

Op-ed: Achieve global food security by investing in universities