Research & Extension

Publications

Aug 2009
This chapter provides an overview of the techniques, current status and issues involved in using marker-assisted selection (MAS) for genetic improvement in developing countries. Molecular marker maps, the necessary framework for any MAS programme, have been constructed for the majority of agriculturally important species, although the density of the maps varies considerably among species. Despite the considerable resources that have been invested in this field and despite the enormous potential it still represents, with few exceptions, MAS has not yet delivered its expected benefits in commercial breeding programmes for crops, livestock, forest trees or farmed fish in the developed world.

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May 2009
As part of the former Soviet Union, Belarus was a major food producer, particularly of meat and dairy products. However, since gaining independence in 1991, it hardly instituted any structural reforms in the agricultural sector, largely retaining the former system of subsidised collective and state farms. Agricultural production generally declined following independence, but over the last six years, yields have stabilised and even increased in some instances. Private smallholdings contribute significantly to agricultural production. Following the nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986, a sizeable area of the productive agricultural land and forest remains contaminated with radioactive fallout.

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May 2009
The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) has launched its new web site. The site contains an extensive document repository, featuring over 1,000 publications from GFAR and it's Regional Fora dealing with important areas of focus such as both new and learned methods of research, innovation, regional research priorities and more. Members of “e-GFAR” are able to participate in Forum debates, post news items and also submit reports, papers and other information regarding agricultural research on this site.

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Feb 2009
This publication is comprised of three papers. The first, by A. Sonnino and co-authors, discusses some approaches used in impact assessment of innovations and presents a general overview of the literature about the impacts of non-transgenic biotechnologies. The second, by Z. Dhlamini and co-authors, surveys the extent of micropropagation application in Gabon, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The third, by P. Warren and co-authors, reports the findings of two field studies, on micropropagation of banana in Uganda and of sweetpotato in Zimbabwe.

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Jan 2009
FAO moderated e-mail conference entitled "The role of agricultural biotechnologies for production of bioenergy in developing countries" took place from 10 November to 14 December 2008. Major topics of discussion included applications of biotechnologies in jatropha; the potential benefits for small-scale farmers of applying biotechnologies for bioenergy production; biogas production in developing countries; and production of enzymes for efficient bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to liquid biofuels. Of the different biotechnologies, most attention was paid to applications of genetic modification, molecular markers and tissue culture in crops for biofuel purposes.

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Jan 2009
22 March is World Water Day. Its international observance is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), on behalf of the 24 Agencies and Programme Members of UN-Water, the theme of World Water Day for 2007 was “Coping with water scarcity”. The day provided an opportunity to reflect on the challenges posed by the unsustainable increase in water use and its degradation across the world and it also served as a spur to action.

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Nov 2008
The background document for the FAO e-mail conference entitled "The role of agricultural biotechnologies for production of bioenergy in developing countries" is now available. The 22-page document gives an overview of the current status regarding bioenergy, focusing on first- and second-generation liquid biofuels, including the reasons for the major current focus on liquid biofuels as well as current concerns about them.

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Oct 2008
The purpose of this publication was to identify “good practices” within different agricultural extension and advisory service institutions that have used new agricultural innovations, in order to improve rural livelihoods and, to educate farmers to use sustainable natural resource management practices in different countries. The publication reviews the four major objectives of extension systems in the agricultural development process: 1) technology dissemination; 2) human capital development; 3) building social capital and 4) educating farmers to manage natural resources sustainably.

Publication available in: English , Español , Русский
Sep 2008
This document represents a collaborative effort by the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Regional Forums to agree on a common policy for advocacy on Information and Communication Management. The recognition of knowledge as a critical resource for practising efficient farming and developing agriculture makes sharing and exchange of knowledge globally vital for agricultural development. Since agricultural research is a major source of new agricultural knowledge, this is a key strategic area of focus and intervention by GFAR whose mandate is to promote and facilitate agricultural research for development (ARD).

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Sep 2008
As one of its main activities, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) actively promotes, advocates and enables the sharing of agriculture-related information and knowledge. The current implementation of the Web Ring on EGFAR (GFAR’s webspace at www.egfar.org) gives access to GFAR stakeholders’ information resources in different ways: through a custom full-text search on partner websites; by harvesting news from several partner organizations; through advanced searches on partner databases in those cases where agreement on protocols and standards has been reached.

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