Flagship 1: Technological Innovation and Sustainable Intensification



Lessons from the modern history show that visionary policies and rapid technological change can achieve agricultural productivity growth and poverty reduction. However, lessons from the past are not sufficient to motivate action in today’s world. The grand modern challenges, such as climate change, soil degradation, and growing competition for land and other resources add more layers of complexity to decision making and require rigorous analysis of the decisions’ potential outcomes.

PIM’s Flagship 1 assesses future food systems and their agricultural production, food consumption, and nutrition and environmental outcomes under alternative scenarios of climate change and other drivers. It further analyzes technological solutions that could address those challenges and examines the associated public policies and investments in science and innovation required to implement the solutions. Among these investments there is particular emphasis on policy and regulatory aspects of seed systems and on agricultural extension methods and approaches for enhancing the wider use of CGIAR and partner technologies.

This flagship takes a global perspective that transcends a single crop, commodity, technology, or agro-ecological system. Applications of the scenario analysis and work on innovation systems are regional and national, with current engagement in Africa south of the Sahara (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), Asia (Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam), Latin America and the Caribbean (Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru), and the Middle East and North Africa.

Research questions

  • What are the key socioeconomic and biophysical drivers of change in agrifood systems? What challenges do these drivers present to achievement of sustainable food and nutrition security at global, regional, and national scales?
  • How can agricultural technologies, natural resource management practices, and infrastructure investments address these challenges in ways that manage trade-offs, protect natural capital, and sustain the provision of ecosystem services?
  • How do investments by governments, the private sector, and other nongovernmental actors in agricultural research and development affect agricultural productivity growth and poverty reduction in developing countries?
  • What alternative policies, investments, institutional mechanisms, and market-based incentives can accelerate innovation, and specifically the discovery, development and delivery of new technology products and services for agriculture in developing countries? How should extension and other programs be designed to include women and young people as service providers and clients, and accelerate diffusion and adoption of technology?

Flagship 1 Impact Pathways>>

Flagship 1 News and Updates>>

Research Clusters

Cluster 1.1: Food Systems Futures
Cluster 1.2: Science Policy and Innovation Systems for Sustainable Intensification

Leadership Team

Keith Wiebe (IFPRI)
Flagship 1 leader, co-leader of Cluster 1.1
Steven Prager (The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)
Co-leader of Cluster 1.1
Mywish Maredia (MSU)
Co-leader of Cluster 1.2
David Spielman (IFPRI)
Co-leader of Cluster 1.2

Flagship Insights

Watch our colleagues talk about PIM foresight modeling work:

Keith Wiebe (IFPRI)

Steven Prager (CIAT)

Elisabetta Gotor (Bioversity International)

Arega Alene (IITA)

PIM Webinar: Climate resilience and job prospects for young people in agriculture

Visit the webinar page to learn more

PIM Webinar: Strengthening developing-country seed systems and markets

Visit the webinar page to learn more