UNDER the initiative of the us-based Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (cgiar), a new global agricultural research system involving greater coordination with farmers and indigenous communities in the developing world has been agreed to. Said Ismail Serageldin, chairperson, cgiar, "The era of research which produces technological innovation without reference to the needs of the producers is behind us."
Expressing concern at the spate of agricultural patents, Serageldin remarked that this prevented cgiar from sharing innovations in the agri-cultural field with people in the deve-loping nations. "We are witnessing for the first time the patenting of the process as well as of the product... which raises the question of whether we can apply cutting edge science to the world's poorest."
The concept of a new agricultural research system was arrived at during a recent two-day global forum in Wash-ington, us, which had brought together scientists from industrialised countries and representatives from agro-industries, research institutions, ngos and farmer groups. A Declaration of Global Partnership in Agricultural Research was drafted and presented at the recent World Food Summit in Rome.
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