Statement of Task

A Study of Technologies to Benefit Farmers in Sub-Saharan African and South Asia

A multinational, multidisciplinary committee will study the potential for new scientific information and technological tools to assist farmers in Africa and South Asia in the production of food and fiber. The study will consider the potential impacts of existing and nascent technologies and explore novel, possibly far-reaching, solutions to problems facing developing country farmers, including research pursuits that are only in a conceptual stage. The committee will organize workshops to bring agricultural scientists together with scientists working on advanced technologies and technological systems in different disciplines. The study committee will develop a framework for ranking the ideas that emerge from the workshops and prepare a consensus report that presents its findings, including categories of specific needs and the scientific and technological breakthroughs that could address those needs. The report will discuss the relative merits of different research approaches and technological directions, including the probable time frame and level of effort required to achieve particular breakthroughs and applications, and the relative potential of different technologies to positively impact farming in the developing world.