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Posts Tagged ‘Global Futures’

Strategic Foresight Conference at IFPRI

A one-day Strategic Foresight Conference took place at IFPRI Headquarters in Washington DC on November 7, 2014. Participants from leading global modeling groups, collaborating CGIAR centers and research programs, and other partners reviewed new long-term projections for global agriculture from IFPRI and other leading institutions, examined the potential impacts of climate change and other key challenges, and discussed the role of foresight work in identifying and supporting promising solutions. 

Topics included:

  • Long-term outlook and challenges for food & agriculture
  • Addressing the challenges
  • Foresight in the CGIAR

Speakers included representatives from IFPRI, GTAP & Purdue University, OECD, IIASA, CCAFS, CIMMYT and ICRISAT. Conference agenda, a webcast, as well as the presentations are available on the Global Futures & Strategic Foresight website.

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The Future of “Global Futures”

It is really nice to read this news on the website of the CRP Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) about the continuation of the Global Futures project under the umbrella of PIM. Among others, it says that

The Global Futures project, initially a 3 year effort supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is designed to evaluate the impact of potential investments in research on the world’s most important crops, focusing on the regions most vulnerable to global changes, with special attention to the needs of the rural poor and
smallholder farmers. The inclusion of these activities under PIM starting in 2012 will enable more CGIAR centers to participate in the effort and allow for a systematization of the methodologies used to evaluate the promising technologies.

The full post also provides a link to a presentation “From Global Futures to Strategic Foresight” held by project leader Gerald Nelson (IFPRI) at GCARD2.

GCARD and the need for foresight

Glad to find this this post on The GCARD Blog: Talking about the need for foresight, GCARD states that

The future of agriculture, the future of rural and global poverty, the future of food and nutrition security and the future of our natural resources, will depend on the decisions we are making today.

These decisions have not only to answer the urgent and burning issues we are currently facing, but have also to integrate the challenges of the future. Research, innovation and policies are expected to provide answers or solutions to current problems where they can. They are also expected to anticipate and prevent future problems.

Forward looking, anticipatory research and analysis are particularly adapted to shed light on this complexity. It is impossible to predict what will happen in the long-term; but it is possible to inform on what could happen.

GCARD adopts the definition of the European Commission of foresight as

a process which combines three fundamental elements: prospective (long-term or forward-looking) approaches, planning -including policy-making and priority-setting- approaches, and participative approaches, engaging stakeholders and knowledge sources.

Given that a substantial part of our work (e.g. the Global Futures Project or priority setting for the CRP-RTB) takes place in precisely that area the corresponding sessions at the GCARD2 conference are highly interesting.

Global impacts of targeted interventions in food security crops

Image Poster Targeted InterventionsAt the 28th International Conference of Agricultural Economists (ICAE) which took place in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil from August 18-24, 2012, we presented a visual presentation of a paper titled Global impacts of targeted interventions in food security crops – the case of potatoes in developing countries.

The paper presents a simulation analysis of the global effects of interventions oriented at increasing productivity in potato production in 30 developing countries which are of priority for CIP‘s agricultural research for development. The simulation was carried out using the IMPACT global agricultural sector model. Simulation results show that the interventions lead to higher potato supply in target regions and globally but lower production in non-target regions and of non-target commodities. Demand for potatoes as food is projected to increase, but entails substitution away from other commodities. This substitution in food consumption would lead to weakly positive, but not significant, effects on food security. Market prices for potatoes and other commodities would decline slightly.

A principal aim of the simulations made for the paper was to explore and assess the depiction of potato production and consumption in the model. Accordingly, the paper identifies a number of aspects which can be improved to arrive at more robust results for the potatoes commodity in IMPACT simulations.  These aspects include an increase in the spatial disaggregation of the simulation units on the supply and demand side, a better depiction of subsistence production and a review of the tradability assumptions in the model.

Global Futures for Agriculture

16/10/2012 3 comments

My principal activity at CIP is the work in the Global Futures for Agriculture Project. Global Futures, an IFPRI-led project, is designed to assess alternative options for improving agricultural productivity in developing countries. The project is focused on the evaluation of promising technologies for agricultural production in order to identify investments with the highest potential benefits and thereby support the CGIAR in priority setting and strategic planning.

Further objectives of the project are to deepen our understanding of the complex linkages among socioeconomic and environmental change, the functioning of agricultural systems and human well-being and to provide an improved representation of agricultural systems and their potential role in enhancing human well-being. A comprehensive modeling environment integrating socioeconomic, biophysical, and technological responses to simulate global, regional and local consequences of technology investments in the context of changing policies and natural resource threats is developed and applied.

To achieve the goals of the project, economists, plant breeders and crop modelers cooperate in the project to obtain estimates of likely productivity changes brought about by technological innovations for the mandate crops of the nine CGIAR Centers which participate in the project and the subsequent assessment of economic and food security impacts of these changes.

The project employs and enhances IFPRI’s International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT), a state-of-the-art economic model that projects the future production, consumption, and trade of key agricultural commodities, and can assess effects of climate change, water availability and other major trends. This model is coupled with crop models of the DSSAT crop modeling system which provides inputs on productivity impacts of virtual agricultural technologies under different scenarios of climate change.