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obtained for genetic modifications (Huffman and Even-son, 1993). Given these trends, it is safe to conclude that the future of biotechnology as applied to agriculture will likely be driven by demands for specific traits to enhance production and add value. Value added output traits with consumer-oriented benefits, such as improved nutritional and other health-related characteristics, will attract the sup­port of the private sector because these traits will turn many agricultural commodities into premium priced and quasi-specialty products (Shimoda, 1998). Again, while existing scenarios do not explicitly relate to these issues, new sce­nario development focusing on the agricultural sector could provide a richer assessment basis with the inclusion of these trends.
     Internationally competitive biotechnology research and development systems are expected to emerge, accelerating the pace of biotechnology research. Although the invest­ment in biotechnology is on the rise in various countries, there are scientific, political and economic uncertainties as­sociated with it. Due to potential environmental and health risks associated with GM products, the EU has imposed stringent regulatory measures on foods containing or pro­duced from GMOs (Meijer and Stewart, 2004). On the other hand, the production and consumption of GMOs has been widespread in other countries, such as the US and Canada. The future of agriculture will depend on how the debate on GMOs unfolds. A directly related factor, which is important for future GMO use as well, are societal choices with respect to high-input agriculture in general (Giampietro, 2007).
     Another noticeable trend that could influence future ag­ricultural development is the increase in unregulated trade in agricultural inputs and outputs in many countries (see 4.3.2). This process has created a new set of incentives for investment in private research and has altered the structure of the public/private agricultural research endeavor, particu­larly with respect to crop improvement (Falcon and Fowler, 2002; Pingali and Traxler, 2002).
     Finally, since the World Summit on Sustainable Develop­ment (WSSD) held in Johannesburg in 2002, more research has gone into local and traditional knowledge systems. Nongovernmental organizations, research bodies, funding agencies, and the United Nations system are lending finan­cial and technical support to locally prioritized research and development efforts that value, investigate, and protect the local and traditional knowledge systems.

Trends in adoption. The full benefits of scientific break­throughs will not be realized without the dissemination and adoption of new technologies. There is a great deal of unused scientific knowledge and technologies "on the shelf"  for immediate application, particularly for devel­oping country agriculture. In each country, the successful local development of technologies or the transfer and ad­aptation of innovations from others will depend on incen­tives and barriers faced by investors and producers. Poor farmers can adapt new technology if small risks are associ­ated with it; with larger risks, they may need guarantees from the state or insurance providers. Many existing on-the-shelf technologies could be adopted if the perceived risks of using them were significantly lowered or if some of the hindrances to adoption, such as missing input supply


chains, poor or nonexistent marketing channels for surplus production, and little or no access to credit or new knowl­edge were reduced or eliminated. Adoption of GMO mate­rial by small farmers may be limited by high costs of plant­ing material, restrictions on the replanting of seeds, and un­certainty of market acceptability. If these concerns are not addressed, much biotechnology will likely not be adopted by poor farmers. Existing scenarios assuming high rates of technology change imply high rates of adoption.

4.3.5 Education, culture and ethics Education
Many international organizations have addressed the issue of poverty alleviation through the diffusion and improvement of rural basic to tertiary education with global, regional or country-specific programs (see CGIAR, 2004; FAO, 2006a; UNESCO, 2006). There also are programs implemented by or­ganizations from developed countries (e.g., Noragric1) to help individual developing countries identify and address problems with their rural education systems (Noragric, 2004).
     Presently there are numerous, thorough studies that demonstrate education is a necessary (but not sufficient) driving force for alleviating hunger and poverty. However, there are very few assessments, scenarios or projections of plausible futures for educational policies directed toward this end. In fact, the scenarios of the major existing assess­ments relevant for agriculture (see 4.2) provide very little information on this issue (some attention is paid in IPFRI modeling). On historic trends, UNESCO's databases2 show that information provided by countries on multiple educa­tional variables seldom is complete on either a yearly or a serial basis (or both). Hence it is not surprising that few educational indicators have been projected into the future. One educational indicator that has been projected into the future is the school-age population. Two features stand out: (1) projected changes in school-age population are highly variable among countries; and (2) there may be no change in the population aged 5-14 (in some countries this age group decreased, whereas the opposite trend was predicted for other countries in this group).
     One important unknown is what proportion of the pop­ulation aged 15-19 and 20-29 would receive a rural (or agri­cultural) higher education and/or training. In poor countries with large rural populations it is likely that emphasis on rural and agricultural education will take a growing share of the total educational effort as measured in terms of GDP, but that a decreasing share of the GDP is likely in those countries in transition to a larger-scale and/or more mecha­nized agriculture. While this agricultural transition will re­quire less unskilled human labor, it will require professional practitioners able to address the challenges of reduced land availability, changing climates, and increased demands for sustainable farming practices, while maintaining or increas­ing productivity. If sustainability is considered an important production paradigm, the curricula of rural education would


1 Dep. Int. Environ. Dev. Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

2 http://www.uis. unesco.org/ev_en.php?URL_ID=3753&URL_ DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SUBCHAPTER=201