The growing challenge of feeding
the world's population while simultaneously reducing environmental
pollution suggests the need to actively seek effective solutions
on a worldwide scale. Two critical contributions toward solving
the aforementioned problem are training of highly-qualified professionals
and research to solve key problems.
The significance of this issue
is growing with each new achievement in biological, chemical, or
social science. Up-to-date technologies such as biotechnology, improved
storage, intercontinental shipping, precision agriculture, and agroecological
approaches to production lend themselves to further development
through global cooperation in education and research. The application
of science and technology is essential to solving world food problems.
Training our future work force in these areas is a challenge for
the 21st Century. Global cooperation can assist in the dissemination
of developments in teaching and scientific research activities.
Political and economic changes in the world occurring within the
past 10 years have eliminated a large amount of global confrontation
among nations. Global cooperation offers a mechanism for tackling
the aforementioned problems.
Agricultural universities worldwide
are facing numerous challenges including increasingly limited resource
allocations, declining enrollments, keeping up with advances in
information and other technologies, remaining aware of and responsive
to clientele, and outreach programs. Although the scale of the problems
and the local conditions vary across and among regions, there are
remarkable similarities in the fundamental nature of these challenges.
The realization that these are shared challenges, combined with
a political and economic climate that lends itself to the lowering
of national barriers, presents an environment conducive to global
networking and cooperation among universities. However, existing
international organizations do not have the mandate to bring together
agricultural universities on a global scale to share lessons learned.