Current Conditions, Challenges and Options for Action | 33t

al science and technology teaching and development and extension services [Global Chapter 3]. Some women-oriented strategies, particularly increasing the functional literacy and general education levels of women, have al­ready been proven to increase the likelihood of reach­ing development and sustainability goals [SSA and other regions]. Other actions, though not yet proven, include the reorientation of policies and programs to increase the participation and physical presence of women in lead­ership, decision-making, and implementation positions. Specific actions to mainstream women's involvement in­clude encouraging women by generating stimuli and op­portunities to study agricultural sciences and econom­ics, and also to ensure that activities such as extension, data collection, and enumeration involve women as providers as well as recipients. Farmer research groups, too, have proven more successful in reaching women farmers than traditional extension activities [SSA] sug­gesting that similar approaches may be needed to incor­porate marginalized groups—the landless, pastoralists, and seasonal and longer-term migrants—into education and policy making institutions.
•   Participation in and democratization of AKST process­es helps to integrate sectors (i.e., developing networks), which have been excluded [Global Chapter 3]. These processes include improved access to information and institutional support to and the development of edu­cation and training in ways that incorporate the par­ticipation of civil society as ones means to guarantee transparency and accountability. A key point is helping youth to become involved in agriculture and of making it an attractive work activity compared with urban pos­sibilities. Long-term investment in farmer education, especially for women and youth, the empowerment of farmers as vocal partners in business and IPR develop­ment and other legal framework, and strengthening civil society organizations.
•   Improving equity requires synergy among various de­velopment actors, including farmers, agricultural work­ers, banks, civil society organizations, commercial com­panies, and public agencies [Global Chapter 3]. Stake­holder involvement is also crucial in decisions about infrastructure, tariffs, and the internalization of social and environmental costs. Women and other historically marginalized actors (local/indigenous community mem­bers, farm workers, etc.) need to have an active role in problem identification (determining research questions, extension objectives, etc.) and policy and project de­sign. New modes of governance to develop innovative local networks and decentralized government, focusing on small-scale producers and the urban poor (urban ag­riculture) will help to create and strengthen synergetic and complementary capacities [LAC].

The contribution of AKST to the achievement of develop­ment and sustainability goals would entail increased funds and more diverse funding mechanisms for agricultural re­search and development and associated knowledge systems. These could include:


•   Public investments to serve global, regional and local public goods, addressing strategic issues such as food security and safety, climate change and sustainability that do not attract private funding. More efficient use of increasingly scarce land, water and biological resources would need public investment in legal and management capabilities.
•   Public investment to support effective change in agricul­tural knowledge systems directed to:
-   promote interactive knowledge networks (associ­ating farmers, farmers communities, scientists, in­dustrial and actors in other knowledge areas) and improve access for all actors to information and communication technologies;
-   support ecological, evolutionary, food, nutrition, social and complex systems' sciences and the pro­motion of effective interdisciplinarity;
-   establish capacities and facilities to offer life-long learning opportunities to those involved in the agri-food arena.
•   Public-private partnerships for improved commerciali­zation of applied knowledge and technologies and joint funding of AKST, where market risks are high and where options for widespread utilization of knowledge exists;
•   Adequate incentives and rewards to encourage private and civil society investments in AKST contributing to development and sustainability goals.

There are many options to target investments to contrib­ute to the development and sustainability goals. Options have to be examined with high consideration of local and regional, social, political and environmental contexts, ad­dressing goals such as:
•   Poverty, livelihoods and food security. AKST invest­ments can increase the sustainable productivity of ma­jor subsistence foods including orphan crops that are grown and/or consumed by the poor. Investments could also be targeted for institutional change and policies that can improve access of poor people to food, land, water, seeds, germplasm and improved technologies, particularly in value chain addition technologies such as quality processing of agricultural products
•   Environmental sustainability. Increased investments are needed in AKST that can improve the sustainability of agricultural systems and reduce their negative environ­mental effects with particular attention to alternative production systems, e.g., organic and low-input systems; reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural prac­tices; reduce the vulnerability of agroecological systems to the projected changes in climate and climate variabil­ity (e.g., breeding for temperature and pest tolerance); understanding the relationship between ecosystem serv­ices provided by agricultural systems and their relation­ships to human well-being; economic and non-economic valuation of ecosystem services; improving water use efficiency  and  reducing water  pollution;  developing biocontrols of current and emerging pests and patho­gens, and biological substitutes for agrochemicals; and reducing the dependency of the agricultural sector on fossil fuels.