Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version

January 2003


Cassman, K.G. 2003. Agriculture-Related Science and Technology Priorities for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development in Developing Countries to 2020. Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Online at Published by Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research:


Alleviation of poverty in developing countries depends on four factors: (1) supportive political, social, and economic environments that foster investments in infrastructure, enterprises, markets, and natural resource conservation, (2) sustainable development and income growth, (3) a continued decline in population growth rates such that the human population ultimately stabilizes at about 9-10 billion people by 2050, (4) access to affordable and nutritious food supply. Of these, the CGIAR system of research centers have a comparable advantage in contributing to sustainable development and income growth by ensuring adequate food production in systems that conserve natural resources and protect environmental quality. To make such contributions requires a tight focus on an appropriate mix of basic and applied research and research capacity development in the national agricultural research systems (NARS1) to address issues confronting agricultural productivity and natural resource conservation in developing countries.