378 | IAASTD Global Report

Key Messages
1. Many of the challenges facing agriculture over the next 50 years will be able to be resolved by smarter and more targeted application of existing AKST. But new science and innovation will be needed to respond to both intractable and changing challenges. These challenges include climate change, land degradation, avail­ability of water, energy use, changing patterns of pests and diseases as well as addressing the needs of the poor, filling the yield gap, access to AKST, pro-poor international co­operation and entrepreneurialism within the "localization" pathway.

2. Smarter and more targeted application of existing best practice AKST will be critical to achieving devel­opment and sustainability goals. It is essential to build on the competences and developments in a wide range of sectors to have the maximum impact. The greatest scope for improvements exists in small-scale diversified produc­tion systems.

3. The challenges are complex, so AKST must be inte­grated with place-based and context relevant factors to address the multiple functions of agriculture. A de­mand-led approach to AKST needs to integrate the expertise from a range of stakeholders, including farmers, to develop solutions that simultaneously increase productivity, protect natural resources including those on which agriculture is based, and minimize agriculture's negative impact on the environment. New knowledge and technology from sectors such as tourism, communication, energy, and health care, can enhance the capacity of agriculture to contribute to the development and sustainability goals. Given their diverse needs and resources, farmers will need a choice of options to respond to the challenges, and to address the increasing complexity of stresses under which they operate. There are opportunities to enhance local and indigenous self-sufficien­cy where communities can engage in the development and deployment of appropriate AKST.

4. Advances in AKST, such as biotechnology, nano-technology,  remote  sensing,  precision  agriculture, information communication technologies, and better understanding and use of agroecological processes and synergies have the potential to transform our ap­proaches in addressing development and sustainabil­ity goals, but will need to be inclusive of a wide vari­ety of approaches in order to meet sustainability and development goals. The widespread application of these breakthroughs will depend on resolving concerns of access, affordability, relevance, biosafety, and the policies (invest­ment and incentive systems) adopted by individual coun­tries. There will be new genotypes of crops, livestock, fish, and trees to facilitate adaptation to a wider range of habi­tats and biotic and abiotic conditions. This will bring new yield levels, enhance nutritional quality of food, produce non-traditional products, and complement new production systems. New approaches for crop management and farm­ing systems will develop alongside breakthroughs in science and technology. Both current and new technologies will


play a crucial role in response to the challenges of hunger, micronutrient deficiencies, productivity, and environmental protection, including optimal soil and water quality, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity. Ecological approaches to food production also have the potential to address inequi­ties created by current industrial agriculture.

5. Transgenic approaches may continue to make sig­nificant contributions in the long term, but substantial increases in public confidence in safety assessments must be addressed. Conflicts over the free use of genetic resources must be resolved, and the complex legal environ­ment in which transgenes are central elements of contention needs further consideration.

6. AKST can play a proactive role in responding to the challenge of climate change and mitigating and adapt­ing to climate-related production risks. Climate change influences and is influenced by agricultural systems. The negative impacts of climate variability and projected climate change will predominately occur in low-income countries. AKST can be harnessed to mitigate GHG emissions from agriculture and to increase carbon sinks and enhance ad­aptation of agricultural systems to climate change impacts. Development of new AKST could reduce the reliance of ag­riculture and the food chain on fossil fuels for agrochemi-cals, machinery, transport, and distribution. Emerging re­search on energy efficiency and alternative energy sources for agriculture will have multiple benefits for sustainability.

7. Reconfiguration of agricultural systems, including integration of ecological concepts, and new AKST are needed to address emerging disease threats. The
number of emerging plant, animal, and human diseases will increase in future. Multiple drivers, such as climate change, intensification of crop and livestock systems, and expansion of international trade will accelerate the emergence process. The increase in infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria, etc.) as well as other emerging ones will challenge sustainable development and economic growth, and it will ultimately affect both high and low-income countries.

8. Improving water use in agriculture to adapt to water scarcity, provide global food security, maintain eco­systems and provide sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor is possible through a series of integrated approaches.  Opportunities exist through AKST to in­crease water productivity by reducing unproductive losses of water at field and basin scales, and through breeding and soil and crop management. The poor can be targeted for increased benefit from the available water through systems that are designed to support the multiple livelihood uses of water, and demand led governance arrangements that se­cure equitable access to water. Economic water scarcity can be alleviated through target water resources development that includes socioeconomic options ranging from large to small scale, for communities and individuals. Allocation poli­cies can be developed with stakeholders to take into account whole basin water needs. Integration of food production with other ecosystem services in multifunctional systems helps to achieve multiple goals, for example, integrated rice/