The CGIAR and Biotechnology: Can the Renewal Keep the Promise of a Research Agenda for the Rural Poor?
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Personal views of CGIAR NGO Committee Chair Miguel Altieri on the potential of agricultural biotechnology for sustainable development and poverty reduction in the developing world, and the role and strategies that should be adopted by the CGIAR in creating and mobilizing technologies to address the needs of the rural poor. Altieri said that the present CGIAR approach to biotechnology risked alienation of NGOs and farmers organizations, as what he called a sort of Green Revolution replay. He saw NGO collaboration with the CGIAR as a potential means of challenging the direction of current privately-led research. This would require the IARCs to improve their performance on participation with farmers and NGOs. He provided examples of the kinds of biotechnology research that might be appropriate to the needs of resource-poor farmers.The paper was considered at a stakeholder consultation on the role of biotechnology in the CGIAR, and was a background document for the CGIAR Mid Term Meeting, May 1997.