Many current policies, strategies, institutional interventions and technologies are directed at increases in crop production and productivity of land. They promote an agriculture that is natural resource and energy intensive and which may affect the environment adversely. Global agricultural markets chains have increased concerns about food safety, and the use of new technologies has increased the potential of bio-safety risks to the environment. Many of today’s agricultural development initiatives bypass societal needs of reduced poverty and better livelihoods, especially in rural areas where the mainstay of the economy is agriculture. In many situations there appears to be a disconnect between agricultural R&D and societal development needs. Agricultural research should be reoriented to address various aspects of the agricultural sector in a sustainable manner. R&D systems are needed to satisfy societal needs but also may need to be properly monitored to reduce potential risks to mankind and the environment.