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India: ASTI–ICAR Policy Brief

India: ASTI–ICAR Policy Brief

ASTI publicaiton cover

Beintema, Nienke; Adhiguru, P.; Birthal, Pratap S.; Bawa, A. K.


International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NCAP)

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Asia and the Pacific

Related publication(s)

India: ASTI–ICAR Country Note

Related country page(s)

Agricultural research and development (R&D)  investments are a crucial determinant  of agricultural productivity through the introduction of improved crops and cropping practices, labor-saving technologies, improved quality of food storage, processing , and marketing. In addition to newly developed technologies, existing technologies need to be better disseminated. Considerable empirical evidence indicates high rates of return from agricultural R&D investments in the range of 40-50 percent (Alston et al., 2000), making agricultural research a cost-effective way for governments to accelerate agricultural development.

India has invested considerably in its public agricultural research system during the past few decades  (Pal and Singh, 1997). As a result India now ranks fourth in  terms of total investments in public agricultural R&D in the world, following United States, Japan, and China. Notwithstanding, with increasing integration of world agri-food markets agricultural development is now taking place in the global context. Agricultural production is becoming market-driven, intensified, diversified and commercialized,  as well as is confronting second-generation   technological  problems  like degradation of land and water resources and changing pest problems. This implies revisiting agricultural research, in terms of investments and research focus, in a global context.This  brief presents such an overview of the major trends in human and financial resources into India’s public agricultural R&D system in a global context. The underlying dataset was developed by the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative of   the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and NCAP and is based on an extensive survey of all government, nonprofit, and higher- education agencies involved in agricultural research in India. Data on human and financial resources were collected through a postal
survey during the period 2004-06.