The fate of strategic applied OR; W(h)ither Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Fisheries, etc! Or w(h)ither not?
Lluis PlÃ , & Daniel L Sandars, Javier Faulin
There is long term economic decline in the biotic primary production industries as sources of employment and thus students. Globalisation adds its toll as the food chain concentrates into control by few multi-national companies. Long-term capacity building research investments are out of fashion in many national governments.
1) Through farmers and fishermen society access many increasingly scarce ecosystems services, such as bio-diversity and clean water. Society doesn’t expect to pay so OR will not pay?
2) World population might yet hit 9 billion with many of our lives. For the first time in a generation food security has been thrown into question in the developed world. Are we back in business?
3) In the absence of a strong strategic governmental lead can the large companies with their vast data and financial resource take up the slack? That’ll never work, beyond some short term-tactical profit-maximising studies, with no regard to societal interests? Perhaps consumers and farmers will be king!
4) It maybe that it is supra-national organisations such as multi-nationals, the FAO or the EC to take the lead? That’ll never work because agriculture is so spatially heterogeneous and needs local knowledge?
5) When the last agricultural student has left university we will simply get applied biologists and mathematicians to collaborate. Rubbish! Multi-disciplinary collaboration does not lead to good interdisciplinary science?
6) Are e-tools and open-access journals the answer to maintaining critical mass and vitality in an increasingly sparse profession without the support of dedicated university departments and research establishments?
Use the comment option to express your views. There will be a delay as comments will be moderated for Spam before publication.