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Iran: ASTI–AREO Country Brief

Iran: ASTI–AREO Country Brief

ASTI publicaiton cover

Stads, Gert-Jan; Roozitalab, Mohammad H.; Beintema, Nienke; Aghajani, Minoo



Publication category

West Asia and North Africa

This report presents an overview of Iran’s national agricultural R&D system in terms of institutional developments and recent trends in human and financial resources based on data collected under the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative.

In 2004, close to 4,700 full-time equivalent (fte) scientists were involved in public agricultural research (that is, excluding the private sector) in Iran, which represented an 18 percent increase over levels recorded in 2000. Public agricultural research in Iran is largely conducted by the Agricultural Research and Education Organization (AREO), currently known as the Agricultural Extension, Education and Research Organization (AEERO). 44 percent of the country’s agricultural scientists were employed at one of 32 AREO–affiliated provincial research centers, while another one-third were employed at one of AREO’s 24 national research centers. These provincial government agencies are typically charged with all agricultural R&D within a particular province, while their national counterparts focus on one particular commodity or discipline. Non-AREO government agencies and higher education agencies play only a modest role in public agricultural R&D in Iran, accounting for just 8 and 11 percent of total fte agricultural research staff in 2004, respectively.

In 2004, Iran invested $432 million in public agricultural R&D (in 2000 constant prices), or 0.91 percent of the country’s agricultural GDP. Iran rates well above some of its neighbors in the region in terms of the intensity of public-sector investment in agricultural R&D and average expenditures per researcher. The lion’s share of the country’s public agricultural R&D is financed, either directly or indirectly, by the Iranian government. The private sector’s involvement in financing public-sector agricultural R&D is small; however, its role in conducting agricultural R&D is expanding. In 2004, 6 percent of Iranian agricultural R&D investments were made by the private sector, bringing Iran’s total (public and private) agriculture R&D expenditures to $457 million.