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Event: Food & Fuel: The Implications for Agricultural Research Policy

June 4-6, 2007 A CAES Workshop U of S Campus Saskatoon, SK

There are many signs that world agriculture is on the cusp of significant change after a remarkably long period of declining real prices and sustained global agricultural productivity growth. Grain prices have increased dramatically since last summer while world ending stocks of feed grains, wheat and oilseeds have reached very low levels.

There are many signs that world agriculture is on the cusp of significant change after a remarkably long period of declining real prices and sustained global agricultural productivity growth. Grain prices have increased dramatically since last summer while world ending stocks of feed grains, wheat and oilseeds have reached very low levels.

Rapid expansion of the bio-fuel industry and income growth in Asia suggest continued significant demand growth for grains and oilseeds.

Despite these promising demand prospects there is a growing body of evidence that both North American and global agricultural productivity growth is slowing. There is also evidence that this slowdown in productivity growth can be traced to a diversion of public and producer controlled research away from productivity growth and toward other research priorities.

This slowdown will have an important impact on future supplies of agricultural products. If agriculture is going to provide continued food security while addressing the future demand for bio-fuels and bio-products, there is a need to revitalize agricultural productivity growth.

This workshop conference brought together academics with industry leaders and government officials to take stock of North American agricultural research and to explore ways in which agricultural research can be refunded and redirected to revitalize productivity growth. The speakers provided a current assessment of global demand prospects, agricultural productivity growth, agricultural research funding, and provided examples of how new organizational and funding models have been used to revitalize agricultural research elsewhere.

The conference was held in Saskatoon, Canada on June 5th and 6th, 2007. Saskatoon is home to the University of Saskatchewan and is a centre for of one of the largest agricultural research and biotech clusters in Canada.

Get more info at: www.kis.usask.ca/Food&Fuel.html

 

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