Following the release of the World Development Report 2008, its Director, Derek Byerlee, was in Nairobi to discuss its implications with the Kenya-based CGIAR centres. Convened jointly by CIMMYT, ILRI and ICRAF, Byerlee’s seminar was themed “The World Development Report 2008 – Agriculture for Development – Implications for the CGIAR,” and was held on Friday, 2 November at the ICRAF campus. The presentation drew a lot of interest and discussions centred on the three key functions of agriculture in development: driving economic growth, poverty reduction, and fostering food security together with better natural resource management. These were in turn linked to the relevant Millennium Development Goals that touch on gender, health, poverty reduction, and the environment.
The main emerging challenge for the CGIAR, as outlined in the Report, is generating technologies that will ensure that there is enough grain and other high value food products to meet the twin competing demands of the world’s populations for food and biofuels. This is to be achieved against a backdrop of climate vulnerability, declining water and land availability, as well as increasing demand for research and development by diverse funding sources.
After the afternoon’s seminar, the participants were hosted to a colorful cocktail, in the spirit of overall optimism that the CGIAR can do it! The Report can be downloaded from this link: www.worldbank.org/WDR2008.