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trends towards the intensified systems discussed earli­er). Confined production systems facilitate the manage­ment of nutrition, breeding and health (responding to the need for production standards), but do so at the cost of increased investment demand. There are economies of scale in the provision of such processing services and the associated product marketing, and possibly in the supply of inputs (feed and feed supplements) and genet­ic material (e.g., day old chicks or semen). Again, this implies that under most of the scenarios discussed an in­crease in cooperative group activity or vertical integra­tion of small-scale producers with large scale processing and marketing organizations.
•   None of the assessment explored scenarios that com­pletely challenge currently seen developments, such as a (1) strongly rising demand for ecologically produced food in developed countries, (2) an adoption of vegetar­ian diets across the world (the MA scenarios only ex­plore slower and more rapid increase in meat demand), (3) major shifts in productivity levels as result of suc­cessful development in GMOs or other new agricultural technologies, or (4) a trend towards healthy food (veg­etables, fruits) versus more high animal protein diet.

4.6 Relevance for Development and Sustainability Goals and AKST in the Future

Agriculture is a complex system that can be described by economic, biophysical, sociocultural and other parameters. However, its future is determined by an even larger set of di­rect and indirect drivers. Global assessments, e.g., provided by the IPCC, the MA, and FAO, and reviewed in this chap­ter, have addressed plausible future developments in agri­culture. These assessments have made use of different ap­proaches to address future agricultural changes, and usually employ either detailed projections accompanied by limited policy simulations or scenario analyses that consider a wide range of uncertainties in an integrated manner. Neither of these approaches aims to predict the future, but rather pro­vide a framework to explore key interlinkages among differ­ent drivers and their resulting changes. Though these recent global assessments provide a host of information on plau­sible future developments regarding agricultural production systems and their driving forces, none of these assessments has explicitly focused on the future role of AKST.

4.6.1 What development and sustainability goals can to be addressed through AKST?
Some of the trends in direct and indirect drivers benefit agri­culture and its role in realizing more sustainable development. Other trends, however, imply considerable challenges. Among the most important drivers identified in this chapter are:
•   Land use change (balancing land claims in response to an increasing demand for agricultural products with the objective of protecting natural ecosystems)
•   Changes in trade patterns (in particular consequences for smallholder farmers) Land degradation and water scarcity
•   Climate change
•   Urbanization (in particular with respect to consequenc­es for food-supply chains)


•   Demand for bioenergy
•   Governance
•   Breakthrough in crop and soil management, including ecological intensification, biotechnology and informa­tion technologies applied to agriculture
•   Investments in AKST (both the volume and direction)
The projected increase in the global population in the next 50 years (2-3 billion people), ongoing urbanization, and changing lifestyles are likely to lead to a strongly increas­ing demand for agricultural products and services. Assess­ments indicate that this could exert pressure on the natu­ral resource base. Historic evidence shows shifts towards more meat-intensive consumption patterns with increasing incomes, and projections are similar for the future. The de­mand for agricultural products will need to be met while simultaneously addressing the critical role agriculture and land use change play in global environmental problems. In this context, demand for agricultural products, land use, biodiversity and AKST are intrinsically linked. In addition to demand for food, feed and fiber, demand for bioenergy is expected to increase. A major uncertainty in the land use change scenarios presented in the literature stems from the assumed degree of extensification and intensification of ag­riculture. Most assessments indicate that roughly 70-80% of the extra production is projected to stem from intensifi­cation. This implies that increasing demands are also partly met by expansion of cultivated land. This is particularly the case in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and East Asia. AKST may help in addressing the need for productivity gains while simultaneously considering the role of agricul­ture and land use on local, regional and global environmen­tal problems.
     There  are  many reasons  for  increasing  agricultural trade, such as increasing demand for food, increasing inter­regional relationships and commodity specialization, pos­sibly facilitated by trade liberalization. Interestingly, even scenarios that assumed no further trade liberalization re­ported increases in agricultural trade (driven by increased demand for agricultural products). Several studies report that further globalization and liberalization will affect coun­tries and groups within countries in different ways. While agricultural trade among developing countries is likely to increase, as a group they may become net importers of agri­cultural commodities with a possibility of further widening agricultural trade deficit. Conversely, industrialized coun­tries tend to become net beneficiaries of trade arrangements as they are expected to face less pressure to reduce their support for agriculture.      Existing assessments (in particular the MA) also high­lighted the role of agriculture as a major contributor to global environmental change, such as land degradation, nutrient pollution and increasing water scarcity. The rapid expansion of irrigation and associated agricultural water withdrawals for improved productivity is expected to con­tinue to depend on availability of water resources sufficient to produce food for the growing world population while at the same time meet increasing municipal, industrial and en­vironmental requirements. Earlier assessments indicate that water availability for agriculture is one of the most critical factors for food security, particularly in arid and semiarid