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(WGCCD, 2006). Government departments and the media will also play an important role, particularly in getting information to rural areas. Present media gaps in communicating meteorological information make uninformed farmers more vulnerable to climate change. Energy

Perhaps the greatest challenge in realizing a sustainable future is energy consumption. Energy is ultimately the basis for a large part of the global economy, and more of it will be required to raise living standards in the developing world. Today, we are mostly dependent on nonrenewable fossil fuels that have been and will continue to be a major cause of pollution and climate change. Because of these problems and our dwindling supply of petroleum, finding sustainable alternatives is becoming increasingly urgent (Starss, 2006).

Scientists are warning that the end of oil is coming sooner than governments and oil companies are prepared to admit. The London-based Oil Depletion Analysis Centre says that global production of oil is set to peak in the next four years before entering a steepening decline that will have massive consequences for the world economy and the way that we live our lives.

Under globalization, prices of oil will further increase. The present situation in the Middle East supports this scenario. Access to energy will be further hindered by the increased monopoly of associations such as OPEC. This state of affairs will have implications on evolving efficient technologies for agricultural development in the short to medium term.

Development of alternative means of energy such as solar, wind and biofuels needs strong underpinnings, from both a strong natural resource base and AKST capacity. With development of AKST capacity in the region, coupled with soaring petrol prices, alternative means of energy will become available in the long term. In oil rich economies, agricultural development is being accomplished by incomegenerated oil resources without integration with AKST. This will lead to unsustainable development in the long term. Tapping renewable energy resources such as solar energy, biomass and alcohol from plant residues is a more efficient way to achieve sustainable development. However, developing countries will find it difficult to produce biofuels without sacrificing food availability, as subsidized production for biofuel will compete with food production.

Biofuel production will increase demand for agricultural land at the expense of natural ecosystems. Perhaps more critically, it will also require large quantities of water-already a major constraint to agriculture in many parts of CWANA. Pursuing biofuel production in water-short countries will put pressure on an already stretched resource and will turn green energy into a major threat to resources. Human resources and feminization of agriculture

Building human resource capacity directly implies agricultural education. By definition the term capacity building (and the process) has education, both formal and nonformal, at its core. In its broadest interpretation, capacity building encompasses human resource development (HRD) as an essential part of development.


It is based on the concept that education and training lie at the heart of development efforts and that without HRD most development interventions will be ineffective. It focuses on a series of actions directed at helping participants in the development process to increase their knowledge, skills and understanding and to develop the attitudes needed to bring about the desired developmental change.

Human resources and capital along with natural resources are essential for development. Many dimensions of human resource development are end objectives of development, e.g., literacy, better health and nutrition, economic well-being. It is generally recognized that a country's human resource capacity for productivity is a prerequisite for social and economic development. However, the problems of development, and in particular food security and poverty, are complex, and improved HRD is only one of several necessary conditions for social and economic progress.

Sustainable development, with its management, technological and institutional aspects, clearly encompasses human resource development, and in particular HRD in agriculture. Unfortunately, the term HRDhas been applied to such a wide array of activities that its meaning is often ambiguous. To be meaningful, HRD needs to be carefully defined.

Competitiveness in agriculture and food systems demands improvement and development of the human resource through investment in education, training, health, and information and communication technology (ICT) (Jaffé and Rojas, 1994; Rice et al., 2000; WHO, 2005; Stern et al., 2006). The establishment of agricultural schools and colleges will continue to present additional, sometimes alternative, knowledge systems for agriculture and related sciences. There is a threat of a vacuum of experienced and knowledgeable experts and professors in national educational and research institutions because of retirement regulations and an increased number of university graduates seeking job opportunities in NARS.

Capacity-building efforts should focus on institutional strengthening, including the design of new organizational structures to improve the "goodness of fit" between the policy context for sustainable development and enacting institutions in both public and private sectors. These institutions include agricultural education and training institutions as well as extension agencies, research institutions, NGOs and community organizations. A multiplier effect can be achieved if strong links among agricultural education institutions, NGOs, research organizations, public and private extension services and others are fostered. This approach recognizes that there are multiple sources of technology development and dissemination and that integrated institutional networking is needed to build capacity.

Building human resource and institutional capacity through agricultural education and training means enhanced investment, expanded international cooperation, improved quality and relevance of education, and broadened access to and participation in educational activities, especially by women. A wider financial base will be needed, including increased support from the private sector. This does not mean, however, that governments can detach themselves from the responsibilities of building human capacity. If there is not strong national commitment to sustained human resource development, the goal of sustained agricultural and rural development will not be realized.