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interacts with both the state (public) and the for-profit private sector in AKST relationships ranging from complementarily to challenge (Farrington and Lewis, 1993; Farrington et al., 1993). The NGO sector developed in response to the actual and perceived failures or shortcomings of the state, a desire to examine developmental questions from motives other than those of profit and to question and analyze interests, priorities and the conditionalities imposed by donor agencies and other organizational actors. A fundamental basis of NGO activity is voluntarism (Uphoff, 1993) and this conditions NGO perspectives and scope of action and imposes a degree of similarity on what is an otherwise diverse domain. The diversity in the domain may be usefully classified by the origin of the NGO (Southern, Northern, Northern with activities in the South, etc.); the nature of the work-grassroots organizations (such as communities, cooperatives, neighborhood communities, etc.), organizations that give support to the grassroots, and those that (whether in addition to other activities or solely focused on this) are engaged in networking and lobbying activities; their funding; relationships with the state and private sector; their membership base; their size, staffing and relationships with their constituencies (which could be as diverse as rural farmers, urban slum dwellers, indigenous tribes), and the mechanisms and procedures in place for accountability (Farrington and Lewis, 1993; Farrington et al., 1993). In the case of the agricultural sector, the main types of NGOs encountered are those working directly with farmers with close involvement in dissemination of farming techniques and processes, provision of agricultural inputs, technologies, access to markets and implements (i.e., developmental NGOs); NGOs that are engaged in conducting research on agricultural crops, processes and products (research NGOs); NGOs that lobby for specific issues related to agriculture ranging from farm-worker health, to gender empowerment among farming communities, to advocating for specific regional, national and international agriculture and trade policies (advocacy NGOs); NGOs focusing on activities such as microcredit for farmers and agricultural communities (support NGOs).

     The nature of activities that NGOs undertake, their relationship with the state and the private sector, their core constituency and nature of their involvement with it, their own organizational character and staff profile determine the attitude of an NGO towards the kinds of knowledge it considers valid and consequently the nature of knowledge processes it engages with and utilizes in its interactions with its constituency (Pretty, 1994). The processes of engagement range from the commissioning of research providers to inform NGO action, top-down dissemination of knowledge through NGO community trainers to engagement with farming communities in research and enquiry through user groups and participatory committees and direct involvement of farming communities in research agenda setting and knowledge selection. NGOs have become significant players in AKST. One of the largest member-based NGOs, BirdLife International has become a significant player in organizing civil society-based collection of data that informs local, national and global environmental policy and conservation effort. Local groups affiliated to this NGO and to WWF


(World Wildlife Fund) were instrumental in ensuring that attention was paid to the impacts on native biodiversity in UK trials of GM oilseed rape and other selected field crops. Collaboration among three Indian NGOs (Deccan Development Society, Andhra Pradesh Coalition in Defence of Diversity and Permaculture Association of India) supported the first thorough assessment of Bt Cotton from farmers' perspectives (Qayum and Sakkhari, 2005).

2.3 AKST Evolutions over Time: Thematic Narratives

The implementation and evolution of different IAs (see 2.2), have been causes as well as consequences of the main changes in AKST. Although it now appears that AKST presents itself as a whole, or at least as a tightly intertwined ensemble of domains, it has not always been the case. Progressively, over centuries, a hierarchy has developed between scientific knowledge, technological knowledge and agricultural production, the latter being progressively limited to the execution of external recipes. Paralleling this hierarchy, science itself established a hierarchy between emerging and evolving disciplines: chemistry, biology, genetics, botany, entomology, economy, sociology, and anthropology are permanently struggling for recognition, status and resources, and scientists engage in alliances with other actors in this purpose. Science allied with technology branched out in different domains of application that resulted in new professions related to various aspects of agricultural production, its products and impacts. Hence, in modern times is that the role of scientific research in maximizing agricultural productivity has increased exponentially (Cernea and Kassam, 2006). However, through the last decades, a reverse movement has occurred and the division between the different branches of AKST have been blurred, the great divide of labor between science and technology is currently challenged, the hierarchy among disciplines reveals its shortcomings and the role of public and private actors has changed.

     The following narratives are illustrative of how AKST contributed and shaped (as well as resulted from) the management of three major elements: seeds, pests, and food. These narratives identify trends, turns, and bifurcations in each domain and look at the major actors who managed them, in response to drivers relevant for them.

2.3.1 Historical trends in germplasm management and their implications for the future Summary of major trends in the history of global germplasm management

Genetic resource management over the past 150 years has been marked by an institutional narrowing with the number and diversity of actors engaged in germplasm management declining. Breeding has largely become an isolated activity, increasingly separated from agricultural and cultural systems from which it evolved (Box 2-1).

     This narrowing is illustrated in history by four major trends: (1) a movement from public to private ownership of germplasm; (2) unprecedented concentration of agrochemical, seed corporations, and commodity traders; (3) tensions