Agriculture at a crossroads (2008)

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was launched in South Africa in April 2008 by UNDP, FAO, UNEP, UNESCO, WHO, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility. The assessment consists of a global summary, synthesis report and five regional reports, including two volumes on North (volume 1) and sub-Saharan Africa (volume 5) in various languages.

These and other materials may be downloaded from the site hosting the assessment, many of them in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish, in addition to English.

See also a summary of the report’s main findings published in UNESCO’s journal, A World of Science (July 2008) in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish

“Although considered by many to be a success story, the benefits of productivity increases in world agriculture are unevenly spread. Often the poorest of the poor have gained little or nothing; and 850 million people are still hungry or malnourished with an additional 4 million more joining their ranks annually. We are putting food that appears cheap on our tables; but it is food that is not always healthy and that costs us dearly in terms of water, soil and the biological diversity on which all our futures depend.”

Professor Bob Watson, director, IAASTD

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