This Working Paper on Sustainable Agriculture and Renewable Natural
Resources is one of a series of 10 papers published alongside DFID's
Research Strategy 2008-2013. It presents the case for DFID-funded
research on Sustainable Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources -
drawing on the responses given during a global consultation that DFID
convened in 2007 about its future research.
No country has ever achieved significant poverty reduction without first
raising productivity in agriculture. Agriculture is not only the way the
vast majority of Africans make their living but with its high multiplier
affect across the wider economy, it is also the sector most capable of
growing the continent's economy in the medium term.
DFID has longstanding experience in managing research in agriculture and
renewable natural resources. In 2006-2007 it invested over £30 million
in research on sustainable agriculture and is committed to doubling
funding on agriculture, fisheries and forestry to £80 million per annum
by 2010. The Department's approach is spelled out in the Strategy for
Research on Sustainable Agriculture 2006-2016 (SRSA), launched in March
DFID is considered to be a major donor and thought leader on
agricultural and RNR research for development, growth and poverty
reduction. The consultation validated the approach and content of the
SRSA, while proposing ways in which it might be expanded and improved.
Nine new research themes emerged in the course of the consultation:
productivity-enhancing technology; low-input farming systems;
sustainability, vulnerability, risk and resilience; social protection
and agriculture-based livelihoods; agriculture and climate change; water
and its management; livelihood diversification; access to markets, land,
growth and farmer empowerment; and natural resource management.
In the light of extensive stakeholder consultation, research to promote
sustainable agriculture will remain as a central plank of DFID's
economic growth agenda - reflecting its demonstrated high rates of
return and impact on poverty reduction. Certain topics in the SRSA will
be given renewed emphasis or re-framed to better reflect links to our
broader research agenda of economic growth.
DFID will work with its partners to strengthen research in six main
research areas in agriculture and renewable natural resources over the
next five years: new agricultural technologies that enhance and maintain
productivity levels; high-value agriculture in areas of medium to high
agricultural potential; rural economies; risk, vulnerability and
adaptation; markets; and managing the resource base sustainably.
Additionally, DFID will continue to support agricultural research by
ensuring provides for a balance between basic science, translational and
adaptive research, and programmes to get research into use.
DFID, London, UK, 26 pp.
DFID Research Strategy 2008-2013. Working Paper Series: Sustainable Agriculture