Supplying a fast-growing global population with varied, quality foods as part of sustainable development in its broadest sense (economic, social, environmental and cultural) is the latest priority for agricultural research.
Moreover, the increasing complexity of scientific issues means that research players are having to change the approaches, standpoints and scales adopted in their work. This means stepping up collective action and international cooperation, and better integration of the programmes being conducted by various players in industrialized and developing countries, from fundamental research right up to its applications.
This is why the French research organizations CEMAGREF, CIRAD, INRA and IRD, and the CGIAR, have signed a letter of agreement to step up their collaboration as part of a “Common Agenda” centring on the following three fields: research, training and prospective studies.
The agreement aims to place cooperation between the different partners in the medium term. The existing system of assigning researchers to joint programmes (some forty French researchers per year working at international agricultural research centres) will be backed up by more collective operations involving all the various “R&D” players in industrialized and developing countries, from fundamental research to research consumers.
This component will benefit researchers from developing countries by allowing large numbers of them to train in France and facilitating access to French research centres, whether or not they belong to the CGIAR. The organizations will also be launching a programme to ensure that young French researchers can begin their career in CGIAR centres, working on projects covered by the Common Agenda.
In recent years, the French organizations have built up a collective appraisal capacity that could be used for prospective studies of mutual interest. Moreover, the partners have also undertaken to participate in other partners’ respective prospective studies or in certain components of those studies (centres or scientific departments).
Helen Burford | alfa
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