Humans have farmed the land since time began, but agronomy is a relatively new science. Below are pivotal developments over two centuries which led to the creation in France in 1946 of the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) (Law of 18 May, 1946).
- Generating knowledge
- Generating innovation
- Informing public policy
- Science and society
- Shaping research strategies
- Training future scientists
- Promoting ethics and a code of conduct
From 1946 to 1963: agriculture and food security
Following the Second World War, France faced food shortages. Its agricultural sector lagged considerably behind the agricultural sectors of major developed countries, and was insufficient to meet the population’s needs. Consequently, INRA was set up in 1946 to use science and technology to develop agriculture by improving production techniques (for crops and livestock) and the genetic selection of plants and animals. An “agricultural revolution” took place: agriculture was increasingly productive, specialised and regionalised. This modernisation was supported by the structuring of the profession and support from pro-active public policies. By the end of the 1960s, France was self-sufficient in terms of food production.
23 Feb 2016