86 | Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) Report

Investment in AKST. Scientific and technological developments, private vs. public investments in R&D, rate of adoption of new technologies (biotechnology, information technology), training of agricultural scientists, interregional research cooperation.

Following are the main indirect drivers of change.

Demographics. Demographic dynamics of population size and growth, age and gender structure, spatial distribution.

Sociopolitical. Sociopolitical developments, governance and democratization, corruption, enforcement of legislation, traditional norms, civil society and the private sector, conflicts, international politics.

CWANA countries with inward-looking development policies will not be able to fulfill their international development commitments, like those reflected in the Millennium Development Goals (Global Monitoring Report, 2006; World Bank and IFPRI, 2006).

Where this is the case, AKST will not effectively play its role in attaining the cherished objectives of development goals. However, the national policies may be influenced by international economic and geopolitical conditions (Table 3-1).

3.3.1 Direct drivers Economic drivers

Under the reference world scenario, the capacity and capability of countries may readjust to change in the global arena in a dynamic way. Democratic institutions will gradually evolve and national policies will get more focused in the long term. Economic growth and development in CWANA will help the region attain its development goals, albeit somewhat more slowly than the rest of the world. Presentday economic paradigms like trade investment and innovation will be enhanced by an enabling environment under the globalization and technological boom, consequently facilitating achievement of economic and development objectives (World Bank, 2006acd).

Foreign direct investment can potentially play a key role as an enabling driver (Black, 2003). However, it may be rather difficult in the future to attract such investment because of competition among the countries, although investment policies of national governments will tend to change and adjust to the situation. Proper investment policies provide a springboard to the development agenda since trade, investment, economic growth and development are closely linked. Poverty in the CWANA region will be alleviated to some extent with these changes in policies, especially with an increase in AKST investment, and thus will help realize development goals in the medium to long term.

With the forceful trend of globalization, national economies are bound to integrate with the international economy, sooner than later (FAO, 2006). This can lead, in the short term, to adjustment pains, before actual gains are realized in the long term. For example, agriculture will undergo structural reforms, including a shift from a self-sufficiency paradigm to export-led agriculture or a shift from subsistence crops to cash crops and from low-tech to high-tech


Table 3-1. Key drivers affecting food security in the CWANA region and assessment of their role in the future.


Future impact

Demographics and human health


Trade and markets


AKST investment


Indigenous knowledge




Governance and coordination


Women in agriculture








Climate change

_ _

Energy and biofuels



++ very strong positive impact

+ strong positive impact

- strong negative impact

_ _ very strong negative impact

Source: Authors' elaboration.

practices. This, on the one hand, may provide better market opportunities for the production surplus that farmers generate. But at the same time, food security may be compromised and joblessness created among farmers, especially if compensatory policies and social safety nets are not in place (World Bank, 1997; WRI, 2005).

The need to establish social safety nets to cope with this situation will increase in these countries. If governments do not act swiftly in the short term, small-scale farmers will leave their farms and thus may become victims of the onslaught of globalization. Emerging democratic thinking and awareness of human rights will, however, compel governments to address social safety issues in the medium to the long term. While trying to adjust to the global policy framework, national governments will have relatively less policy space in which to maneuver, through price or other domestic support mechanisms such as subsidy. Thus they will have to focus on efficiency and higher productivity, for which they will need a strong AKST base to realize development and sustainability goals.

A lot, therefore, will depend on government capacity to adjust to the changing environment and deal with the complex issues outlined above. AKST will certainly have a central role in developing the required capacity and in making agriculture efficient and sustainable. Today ventures in the trade-investment-growth paradigm in many developing countries will continue, and the more progressive ventures will capitalize on this paradigm.

For the near future, the fate of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations is uncertain, especially the Doha Development Agenda with its built-in development dimension that makes trade liberalization development friendly.