Issue Date: December 17, 2012
President’s Council Calls For More Agriculture Research
The federal government should double its current investment in agricultural research and create a network of public-private agricultural innovation institutes, a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (PCAST) concludes. The report calls on the Department of Agriculture to rebalance its R&D priorities around seven challenges: pests, pathogens, and invasive plants; water use; agriculture’s environmental footprint; climate change; demand for bioenergy; nutritious food production; and global food security. “Meeting these challenges will require a renewed commitment to research, innovation, and technology development in agriculture,” says Daniel Schrag, cochair of the PCAST Agricultural Preparedness Working Group. The report also urges USDA to put more of an emphasis on basic, noncommercial research for the public good and workforce development.
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