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Abstract

Global population is expected to reach 9.7 billionon 2050(UN). This will requireincreasing food production by approximately 70%. Therefore, the performance of agricultural production systems and processes should be improved. The growing food demand anticipated for 2050is expected to increase the impact of agricultural production on the environment (Davis et al., 2016). Consequently, robust public policy frameworks will be required to oversee relevant environmental issues (Albright et al., 2016).In this context, the concept of sustainable agricultural intensification has been adopted in the last decade by the major international organizations (FAO, CGIAR, World Bank, etc). Under these changing circumstances the organizational system around agriculture and food production will face the challenge of designing and implementing robust policies aimed at promoting sustainable intensification. From their side, R&D organizations are called to generate the knowledge required to ensure the sustainability of production systems. The present study contributesto understanding the interactiondynamics between agri-food research and public policy-makingin order to strengthen sustainable intensification processes. The methodological approach involved two main components: (i)a survey of public policies promoting sustainable intensification in Uruguay, and (ii) an in-depth study of a single policy that required intensive use of scientific knowledge as well as a fluent interaction between public research organizations and policy-makers during the whole policy process. Particular attention was placed on such interaction and the dynamics of the use of scientific knowledge as the basis of policy-making processes. The results showed an increasing implementation of policies intended to promote sustainable agricultural intensification. Moreover, we founda marked trend towards the use of some types of policy instruments, particularlyPublic Support Programs, Hence, there was small diversity of in therange of policy instruments designed and implemented by policy-making organizations. Compared to other studies, there is space for a greater use of other policy mechanisms such asdirected economic incentives for the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. The is a need for more coordinated policy cycles involving greater interactionand common agendas between policy-makers and research organizations. The identified policies address different dimensions of sustainability; greater attention is required on freshwater use and conservation. In addition, we found scarce knowledge generation intended to develop policy monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, as well as to assessing the impact of production systems on natural resources and their long-term sustainability.

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