Agricultural research needs to focus on three inextricably linked issues:
- the human and social issue: access to food, consumption patterns, and food safety and security,
- the environment and energy issue: designing new agricultural production systems aimed at preventing environmental risks while ensuring that countries in the South can exploit the natural resources they need for their development,
- the governance and public policy issue: alleviating poverty and overcoming structural inequalities as the preferred means of preventing and resolving conflict (riots over hunger issues, territorial conflict, etc).
Based on these three issues, CIRAD has drawn up six strategic lines of research:
- Inventing ecologically intensive farming systems to feed the world
- Analysing the conditions for the development of biofuels and ensuring that they benefit people in developing countries
- Innovating, to make food accessible, varied and safe
- Foreseeing and managing infectious disease risks linked to wildlife and domestic animals
- Supporting public policies aimed at reducing structural inequality and poverty
- Understanding relationships between agriculture and the environment and between human communities and nature better, so as to manage rural areas sustainably.