The ARD landscape in France
French ARD is mainly conducted by four research organisations. The Ministry of Higher Education and Research primarily funds ARD in France and also determines the national research policy. Yet the Commission for International Agricultural Research (CRAI) - which is made up of members from various government ministries and research organisations - is the official representative for France on issues of ARD.
CRAI contributes to defining positions, designing ARD strategies based on a ‘for the South, with the South, in the South’ approach, and coordinating French actions. It is made up of representatives of the three government ministries involved in ARD, along with CIRAD (Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement), INRA (Institut National de Recherche Agronomique), IRD (Institut de recherche pour le développement), Cemagref (Institut de recherche en sciences et technologie pour l’environnement), Agreenium and the Agropolis International cluster. CRAI also represents France in specialised international agricultural institutions (CGIAR, EFARD, EIARD, SCAR).
CIRAD conducts joint operations with more than 90 countries, mostly from the South, and contributes to development through research in partnership, training, information dissemination, innovation and appraisals. IRD prioritises research into food security, sustainable management of ecosystems, natural hazards, climate change and coastal waters to assist the economic, social and cultural development of Southern countries. Cemagref conducts targeted research on land and water management. Meanwhile INRA conducts basic and targeted research in Agriculture, Nutrition and the Environment, contributing to ARD by its research on global issues, its involvement in joint research projects, and its Centre in the French West Indies.
Agreenium (French Consortium for research and education in agriculture, food, animal health, and the environment) is a public scientific institution gathering INRA, CIRAD, AgroParisTech, Agrocampus Ouest, Montpellier SupAgro and the National Veterinary School of Toulouse. Agreenium mandate is to build an integrated French research and higher education offer in agro-sciences and to promote it internationally.
In addition to government Ministries, several agencies such as the National Research Agency (ANR) fund research actions including partnership with the South. The AFD (Agence Française de Développement) funds French cooperation in agricultural development projects that may include research activities. An inter-organisation funding agency (Agence inter-établissements de recherche pour le développement - AIRD) targets additional support to research for development (including ARD) through French research organisations and their partners.