Current Conditions, Challenges and Options for Action | 31

•     Developing a  system of global, national,  and local AKST that can monitor developments and inform ad­equate and timely responses to the rapid evolution of pathogens.

The burden of emerging and reemerging diseases can be de­creased by:
•   Strengthening coordination between and the capacity of agricultural, veterinary, and public health systems;
•   Integrating multi-sectoral policies and programs across the food chain to reduce the spread of infectious dis­eases;
•   Developing and deploying new AKST to identify, moni­tor, control, and treat diseases; and
•   Developing a  system of global, national,  and local AKST that can monitor developments and inform ad­equate and timely responses to the rapid evolution of pathogens and zoonotic outbreaks.

The burden of chronic diseases can be decreased by:
•   Regulating food product formulation through legisla­tion, international agreements and/or regulations for food labeling and health claims; and
•   Creating incentives for the production and consump­tion of health-promoting foods.
Occupational health can be improved by:
•   Developing and enforcing agriculture health and safety regulations;
•   Enforcing cross-border issues such as illegal use of toxic agrichemicals; and
•   Conducting health risk assessments that make explicit the trade-offs between maximizing benefits to liveli­hoods, the environment, and improving health.

Policies and institutional frameworks. Trends in the current burdens of the health risks associated with agriculture and AKST call for robust detection, surveillance, monitoring, and response systems to facilitate identification of the true burden of ill health and implementation of cost-effective, health-promoting strategies and measures. Persistent and substantial investment in capacity building are required to provide safe food of sufficient quantity, quality, and variety; reduce the burdens of obesity, other chronic diseases, and infectious diseases; and reduce agriculture-related environ­mental and occupational risks.

Science and technology (local and formal). Historically, for­mal AKST has privileged farmers with access to resources, services, capital and markets (e.g., men and non-indigenous groups), often creating greater inequalities in the rural sec­tor. Additionally poor and marginalized groups have suf­fered disproportionately from environmental degradation [CWANA; LAC; SSA]. To acknowledge the distributional impact of AKST investments calls for conscious public pol­icy choices to invest in AKST that addresses the needs of small-scale producers and improves equity [Global Chap­ters 3,7]. This strategy recognizes that the short-term dollar rates of return may not as high as those of other investments


but that they can make a significant contribution to long-term poverty reduction.
     For AKST to contribute to greater equity, investments are required for the development of appropriate technolo­gies; access to education and research participation; new partnerships with a wider network of stakeholders; and models of learning, technology extension and facilitation for the poor and marginalized. Such investments are likely to improve access to sustainable technologies, credit and in­stitutions (including property rights and tenure security) as well as to local, national, and regional markets for agricul­tural outputs [SR Part II: NRM].
     Both formal and local AKST can add value to the full range of agricultural goods and services and help create economic instruments that promote an appropriate balance between private and public goods. At the farm, watershed, district and national scales, new methods may be needed to assess and improve the performance of farming systems in relation to the multiple functions of agriculture. Such ef­forts need to include a special emphasis on integrated water resource management for CWANA countries and other arid regions, and integrated soil management for SSA and other regions with highly degraded soils.
     An environment in which formal science and technol­ogy and local and traditional knowledge are seen as part of an integral AKST system is most likely to increase equitable access to technologies to a broad range of producers [Global 3; SR Part II: NRM]. Options to improve this integration include moving away from a linear technology transfer ap­proach that benefited relatively well-off producers of major cash crops but had little success for small-scale diversified farms and poor and marginalized groups and paid little at­tention to the multifunctionality of agriculture. Improve­ments are needed in engaging farmers in priority setting and funding decisions, and both in increasing collaboration with social scientists, and increasing participatory work in the core research institutions. Networks among small-scale producers contribute to the exchange of experience and AKST, as do inter- and multidisciplinary programs, cross-disciplinary learning  and  scientific  validation,  involving both research and non-research actors, and recognizing the cultural identity of indigenous communities.
    Alternatives to traditional extension models include farmer field schools [SSA] and the Campesino a Campesino (Farmer to Farmer) Movement in LAC. However, such an integrated approach is unlikely to be embraced without complementary activities including developing in-country professional capacity for undertaking integrated approaches, methods for monitoring and evaluating these approaches, and ensuring a professional system that rewards participa­tory research in the top academic journals. A complemen­tary option is to facilitate internal institutional learning and evaluation in AKST organizations, particularly as regards their impact on equity.

Policies and institutional frameworks. Key issues for improved performance include equitable access to and use of natural resources, systems of incentives and rewards for multifunc­tionality, including ecosystem services, and responding to the vulnerability of farming communities. Governance in AKST and related organizations are also important for the