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Agricultural research is needed to help farmers in developing countries reduce their vulnerability, improve their productivity and protect their natural resources, according to Per Pinstrup-Andersen, director-general of the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Speaking at the World Food Summit: Five Years Later, held in Rome, Italy from 10-13 June, he called on researchers to "combine indigenous knowledge with all appropriate scientific tools — not only conventional research methods, but also agroecology and agricultural biotechnology, including genetic engineering".

He pointed out that the kind of agricultural research that benefits small farmers in developing countries is severely underfunded, and stressed the need for more publicly funded agricultural research.

Link to Per Pinstrup-Andersen's speech