Agriculture experts meet in Beijing to examine impacts of food prices and climate change on farmers

November 29, 2007

A decades-long period of steadily declining food prices - driven down by unprecedented advances in agricultural productivity - is coming to a definitive close. Prices for wheat have tripled and those for maize and rice nearly doubled since 2000, and there is no sign that prices will fall soon. On the contrary, economists expect larger and more frequent shocks to global food prices, with climate change and its devastating impacts on agriculture adding greatly to the uncertainty.

The world's largest alliance of agricultural researchers, economists, and policy experts will meet December 3-4 in Beijing to review and recognize key scientific advances needed to curb the threat of higher-priced food for poor farmers and consumers and to cope with new pressures on developing country natural resources.

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) will urge policy makers to renew their commitments to high-quality science that can make a difference in the outlook for poor farmers and consumers, as discussed in the recent World Bank World Development Report. The meeting will be hosted by the government of the People's Republic of China and co-organized with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).

The following will be presented or announced at the meeting: WHO: Joachim von Braun, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Derek Byerlee, Senior Adviser, World Bank
Huqu Zhai, President, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)
Hans Herren, President, Millennium Institute
William Calvin, Affiliate Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, USA
Katherine Sierra, Chair, CGIAR, and Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank
Ren Wang, Director, CGIAR
Rudy Rabbinge, Chair, CGIAR Science Council

WHEN:

Monday, 3 December 2007
4:30 PM-8:00 PM: Opening Ceremony and Host Country Dinner (Pre-registration required)

Tuesday, 4 December 2007
8:15-8:45 AM: Registration
8:30 AM-6:00 PM: Science Forum
6:00-8:00 PM: Crawford Lecture, followed by CGIAR Awards for Excellence in Science and dinner

WHERE: Beijing International Conference Center
No.8, Beichendong Road, Chaoyang District,
Beijing, China

Full details of the program will be available on the CGIAR Web site (www.cgiar.org).
-end-
About the CGIAR:

The CGIAR, established in 1971, is a strategic partnership of countries, international and regional organizations and private foundations supporting the work of 15 international Centers. In collaboration with national agricultural research systems, civil society and the private sector, the CGIAR fosters sustainable agricultural growth through high-quality science aimed at benefiting the poor through stronger food security, better, human nutrition and health, higher incomes and improved management of natural resources. www.cgiar.org.

CGIAR

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