Contribution of Japanese Agricultural Scientists towards the Millennium Development Goals
Recommendations for Domestic Collaboration and Human Resource Development
The Japan Forum on International Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development (J-FARD) and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) held an international symposium on September 12-13, 2007 at U Thant Conference Hall, United Nations University in Tokyo. This symposium was co-sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the United Nations University (UNU), and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and many other related organizations.
At the symposium, four keynote speeches, including “Reinforcement of science and technology diplomacy” by Dr. Taizo Yakushiji, Executive Member, Council for Science and Technology Policy and “Roles of agricultural research for achieving development goals” by Prof. Rudy Rabbinge, Chair, the CGIAR Science Council, were presented; followed by reports on the global trends of agricultural research for development (ARD) from international research centers, as well as reports on the evaluation of Japanese and counterpart researchers engaged in past collaborative researches. At the end, a panel discussion among the representatives of research institutes, universities and aid agencies were organized with the theme of domestic collaboration and human resource development.
During the presentations and reports, the following discussions were held:
- In order to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals, stable and sustainable development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries is indispensable, as a large part of the population in the developing regions depend for their income and livelihood on those sectors. The roles of researchers in the field of agricultural sciences are extremely critical. Japan, which aims to be a science and technology base country, has to intensify its international contribution in the area of science and technology towards solving global issues such as climate change, desertifi cation, food crisis and so on.
- In the area of agriculture, forestry and fi sheries research for development, there are several global trends. Firstly, it is required to promote pluralistic and multilayered problem-solving researches which are based on the participation and dialogues among many stakeholders. This is a refl ection from the past experiences in Asia and the diffi cult situation currently being faced in the area of research implementation in Africa. Secondly, it is recommended that the policy-related researches based on development strategy should be prioritized for effective implementation. In addition, there is a need to clarify the division between the different roles of various research institutions in order to connect the series of technology development activities starting from the basic researches to applied ones.
- Up to now, Japanese researchers have carried out steady collaborations with international research centers such as CGIAR centers, on-site universities and public research institutions. They have accumulated many experiences on frontline or on-site research activities apart from numerous research outputs, and they are highly appreciated by their counterparts. It is expected that their contributions should be made in a more organized and strategic manner from now on, taking advantage of those achievements.
At the panel discussion, the following recommendations were agreed upon.
- It is essential that Japanese institutions related to agriculture, forestry and fisheries research as well as international development agencies, through activities such as those conducted by J-FARD, should establish mechanisms which enable regular and continuous dialogues among them, and promote a more flexible collaboration across the missions of the different Ministries and institutions. Multilayered and strategic research activities which include the private sectors and NGOs should be organized through the acceleration of joint participation in fi eld development projects, networking researches and publiclyoffered study projects.
- In order to foster young researchers with the qualifications needed for overseas activities, such as international understanding, problem-oriented mind, language ability, on-site activity capacity, strategy-setting ability and so on, it is essential to increase and enhance opportunities which provide real experiences on the field, by taking advantage of CGIAR Centers’ activities, in addition to the improvement of specialized education at universities. Support programs for young researchers and coordinating functions, which JIRCAS and others currently carry out, must be extended further.
- In order to increase the opportunity of competent human resources in domestic research institutes and universities to work abroad, it is highly recommended that the institutes and universities introduce an evaluation system which appraises the overseas field experiences as a merit in their career path. In addition, there is a need to establish and enhance the function of human resource exchanges at JIRCAS, universities and so on, so that the flow of human resources and temporal suspension of work can be supported.
- Kenji Iiyama (President, JIRCAS)
- Katsuki Oda (Deputy Director General, International Cooperation Bureau, MOFA)
- Hiroyuki Takeya (Director General, Secretariat, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Research Council, MAFF)
- Reinforcement of science and technology diplomacy
Taizo Yakushiji (Executive Member, Council for Science and Technology Policy of
the Cabinet Office of Japan)
- Roles of agricultural research for achieving development goals
Rudy Rabbinge (Chair, CGIAR Science Council)
- Agricultural research for development from the viewpoint of journalism
Jacques Van Outryve (International Federation of Agriculture Journalists)
- Expectations for the researchers toward agricultural development
Ariyuki Matsumoto (Vice President, JICA)
Session 1: Global trend of agricultural research for development (ARD)
Chair: Osamu Koyama (Director, Research Strategy Office, JIRCAS)
- International agricultural research centers and Japan
Masa Iwanaga (Director General, CIMMYT)
- How to increase the impact of agricultural research for development in Africa: the case of NERICA
Papa Abdoulaye Seck (Director General, WARDA)
- Agricultural research for development priorities and achievements in the dry areas of the Central and West Asia and North Africa region
Mohan Chandra Saxena (Honorary Senior Advisor, ICARDA)
Session 2: Japanese experiences of ARD
Chair: Masanori Saito (Research Coordinator, NIAES)
- Social science research in developing countries
Ryuichi Yamada (JIRCAS)
- Agro-environmental research in developing countries
Kazuyuki Yagi (NIAES)
- Crop science research in developing countries
Joji Arihara (Director General, KONARC, NARO)
- Fisheries research in developing countries
Osamu Baba (Professor, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology)
- Experiences of forestry research in the Phillipines
Yoichi Kanazawa (Professor, Kobe University)
Session 3: Evaluation of Japanese contributions in ARD
Chair: Shuichi Asanuma (Professor, Nagoya University)
- Collaboration between AICAD, JICA and ICCAE
Patrick A. Wakhu (AICAD, Kenya)
- Experience of a JICA research project in Ethiopia
Hailu Dadi Melka (Tokyo University of Agriculture)
- FRIM’s R&D evaluations of Japanese contributions in forestry /agriculture research for development (F/ARD)
Wan Razali (Forest Research Institute Malaysia)
Panel Discussion: Collaboration among researchers and capacity-building
Chair : Toshihiro Senboku (Vice President, JIRCAS)
- Akimi Fujimoto (Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture)
- Nobumasa Hatcho (Board Chair, IWMI)
- Takeshi Horie (President, NARO)
- Masa Iwanaga (Director General, CIMMYT)
- Makoto Kitanaka (Group Director, Rural Development Department, JICA)
- Keijiro Otsuka (Chair, Board of Trustees, IRRI)
- Hisao Azuma (Chairman, J-FARD)
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