This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends establishing or strengthening government and international institution responsibility for agricultural resource survey, management and development.
Current national research and development expenditure by developing countries is approaching US$ 5,000 million a year, and international expenditure is about US$ 350 million.
Established in 1971, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is an informal association of 40 public and private sector donors that supports a network of 17 international agricultural research centres. The mission of the CGIAR is, through international research and related activities, and in partnership with national research systems, to contribute to sustainable improvements in the productivity of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in developing countries in ways that enhance nutrition and well-being, especially among low income people. Over 1,800 scientists representing 60 different nationalities conduct research at the 17 CGIAR centres or in some 40 developing countries where they are posted to work with developing country partners. Their approach is interdisciplinary and their orientation is towards problem solving. Total contributions in 1992 were about $314 million.
Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should strengthen research on agricultural production systems in areas with different endowments and agro-ecological zones, including comparative analysis of the intensification, diversification and different levels of external and internal inputs.
2. Agricultural Research should be directed to develop on-farm genetic diversification projects and other alternatives to industrial production at least as actively as they invest in genetic engineering. All agricultural research should be devoted to food security instead of corporate marketing strategies.