Saturday, August 30, 2008

From IFPRI on Agricultural Research

The International Food Policy Research Institute is a global resource--a consistent source of information and analysis of agriculture in the developing world. Here are a few of its publications on agricultural research.

"Shifting Ground:Agricultural R&D Worldwide"
Philip G. Pardey, Julian M. Alston, and Roley R. Piggott
IFPRI Issue Brief No. 46, June 2006 (PDF, 6 pages)
'Today, a slower growing, stagnant, or shrinking public agricultural research pot is increasingly being diverted away from the traditional agenda toward environmental objectives, food quality and safety, and so on. Who, then, will do the research required to generate sustenance for a growing world population when—at least for another quarter century—virtually all the population growth will occur in the poorer parts of the world? These questions and others are raised in a new book, Agricultural R&D in the Developing World: Too Little, Too Late?, edited by Philip G. Pardey, Julian M. Alston, and Roley R. Piggott.'
Agricultural R&D in the Developing World: Too Little, Too Late?
Philip G. Pardey, Julian M. Alston, and Roley R. Piggott, eds.
IFPRI, 2006 (PDF 1.5M)
This book was conceived as a companion to the 1999 volume Paying for Agricultural Productivity, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in conjunction with IFPRI. That volume dealt with investments, institutions, and policy processes regarding agricultural R&D in developed countries. This book addresses the same set of issues for the developing countries, and the relationship of those countries to the richer parts of the world where the preponderance of agricultural innovation still takes place. It also reviews developments within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), along with the changing roles of international research generally, in light of the substantial shifts in science funding and policy (as well as in the science itself ) that are taking place throughout the world.

The book combines new evidence with economic theory and an economic way of thinking about science policy--highlighting the developing-country aspects--as well as a set of in-depth, comparative country studies. These country studies take us well beyond generalities, providing insights into the important changes taking place within these countries and others they represent. The countries covered include the largest developing countries--China and India--as well as a range of richer and poorer, and more- and less-developed countries, representing most parts of the globe.
"Agricultural Research: A Growing Global Divide?"
Philip G. Pardey, Nienke Beintema, Steven Dehmer, and Stanley Wood
IFPRI Food Policy Report No. 17, August 2006 (PDF, 358K)

Sustained, well-targeted, and effectively used investments in R&D have reaped handsome rewards from improved agricultural productivity and cheaper, higher quality foods and fibers. As we begin a new millennium, the global patterns of investments in agricultural R&D are changing in ways that may have profound consequences for the structure of agriculture worldwide and the ability of poor people in poor counties to feed themselves.

This report documents and discusses these changing investment patterns, highlighting developments in the public and private sectors. It revises and carries forward to 2000 data that were previously reported in the 2001 IFPRI Food Policy Report Slow Magic: Agricultural R&D a Century After Mendel (PDF 300K). Some past trends are continuing or have come into sharper focus, while others are moving in new directions not apparent in the previous series. In addition, this report illustrates the use of spatial data to analyze spillover prospects among countries or agroecologies and the targeting of R&D to address specific production problems like drought-induced production risks. More detailed data on the agricultural research investment trends summarized here can be accessed at

If you want still more statistics on agricultural science and technology, try the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) online database provided by the CGIAR.

No comments: