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India: ASTI–NAARM Country Factsheet

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Authors:
Gert-Jan Stads, Kalpana Sastry, Ganesh Kumar, Tara Kondisetty, and Lang Gao

Year:
2016

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute and National Academy of Agricultural Research Management.

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

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India

India has one of the largest and most well-coordinated agricultural research systems in the world. Research is primarily structured around agencies under the ICAR umbrella at the federal level and within agricultural universities at the state level.

Notwithstanding the fact that India’s agricultural research expenditures nearly doubled between 2000 and 2014 (in inflation-adjusted terms), agricultural research spending as a share of AgGDP fell slightly during this timeframe, from 0.34 to 0.30 percent.

India’s total number of agricultural researchers declined gradually between 2000 and 2009, which can largely be attributed to stagnating recruitment at the country’s universities. Research capacity has rebounded since, primarily due to the establishment of a number of new universities and colleges.

Pakistan: ASTI–PARC Country Factsheet

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Authors:
Gert-Jan Stads, Muhammad Azam Niazi, Lang Gao, and Nouman Badar

Year:
2015

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related country page(s)
Pakistan

Over the past decade, growth in Pakistan’s agricultural R&D spending has been modest but erratic.

The country’s total number of agricultural researchers grew slightly in recent years, mostly due to increased involvement in agricultural R&D by universities; however, relative to its South Asian neighbors, Pakistan has a low share of PhD-qualified agricultural researchers.

The complex structure of agricultural research and extension at district, provincial, and federal levels complicates the coordination of research and the dissemination of its outputs; it also gives rise to costly duplication of effort.

Nepal: ASTI–NARC Country Factsheet

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Authors:
Gert-Jan Stads, Hari K. Shrestha, Hira K. Manandhar, and Lang Gao

Year:
2015

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute and Nepal Agricultural Research Council

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related country page(s)
Nepal

Agricultural R&D investment and human resource capacity in Nepal grew in recent years in response to increased government funding; nevertheless, much more is needed to address the agricultural sector’s many critical challenges.        

NARC is by far the largest agency conducting agricultural R&D in Nepal, accounting for more than 80 percent of the country’s agricultural R&D investments and human resource capacity in 2012.      

Although Nepal’s share of female agricultural researchers increased from 9 percent in 2009 to 13 percent in 2012, women remain extremely underrepresented in agricultural R&D, especially considering they constitute more than 60 percent of the country’s agricultural workforce.  

Bangladesh: ASTI–BARC Country Factsheet

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Authors:
Gert-Jan Stads, Md. Mustafizur Rahman, and Lang Gao

Year:
2014

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related country page(s)
Bangladesh

The total number of agricultural researchers in Bangladesh increased considerably in recent years, largely due to a major influx of PhD-qualified scientists at BARI and the agricultural universities.

Agricultural research spending has followed a somewhat erratic trend over time, but the launch of NATP (2009–2014) spurred a marked increase in overall investment levels.

Underinvestment in agricultural R&D is, nonetheless, pervasive: Bangladesh’s 2012 agricultural R&D intensity ratio of 0.40 is very low, especially in the context of rapid population growth, a shrinking natural resource base, and the adverse impacts of climate change.

Malaysia: ASTI–MARDI Country Note

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Authors:
Flaherty, Kathleen; Abu Dardak, Rozhan

Year:
2013

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI)

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related publication(s)

Malaysia: ASTI–MARDI Country Brief

Related country page(s)
Malaysia

Despite year-to-year fluctuations, agricultural research investment in Malaysia remained roughly constant between 2002 and 2010. Capacity levels did increase, however, primarily reflecting the recruitment of younger, BSc-qualified researchers. The country’s growing researcher capacity measured against a decreasing number of farmers led to a higher ratio of researchers to farmers. In comparison, research spending intensity fluctuated, largely in response to volatile AgGDP levels. For every $100 of agricultural output, Malaysia spent close to $1.00 on agricultural R&D in 2008 compared with an average of $0.54 for developing countries and $3.07 for high-income countries (Beintema et al 2012). The country’s AgGDP levels accelerated from 2006 driven by high-value export crops; as a result, agricultural research performed by the private sector increased. However, to build on agricultural sector gains, public research can still play a valuable supporting role, especially with regard to research on commodities that can boost household incomes and are essential for food security, such as those targeted by the new Economic Transformation Program. Issues of concern looking to the future include ongoing maintenance of capacity and infrastructure given government funding cuts, and the training and mentoring of junior staff needed to replace retiring senior staff over the coming decades.

Sri Lanka Country Note

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Authors:
Padmini Girihagama, Michael Rahija, and Gert-Jan Stads

Year:
2012

Publisher

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related country page(s)
Sri Lanka

During the first decade of the new millennium, Sri Lanka’s worsening security situation forced the national government to allocate an increasing share of public resources to national security. This was at the expense of other public investments, including agricultural research. Moreover, revenues generated by a cess on plantation crops were gradually channeled away from agricultural R&D. Both factors had a notable impact on the country’s total agricultural R&D spending, which declined by roughly one-third during 2000–2009.

In contrast, the country’s overall number of agricultural researchers increased by 20 percent during the same period. Many of the new scientists, however, were not hired into official research positions, due to restrictions on recruitment instituted by the national government. This deprived these scientists of training opportunities, and other benefits commensurate with their colleagues who did hold full researcher status.

Attracting and retaining high-quality agricultural scientists will remain a key challenge for Sri Lanka’s public agricultural R&D agencies in the coming years. Granting all SLCARP scientists full researcher status would boost motivation and staff morale, and it could be an effective way to counter brain drain.

Another major challenge will be to increase agricultural R&D investment to 1.5 percent of AgGDP, as targeted in the current national plan for agricultural research. Sri Lanka’s 2009 investment levels totaled only 0.34 percent of AgGDP (less than the 0.40 percent of neighboring India). To reach the ambitious 1.5 percent target will require a firm financial and political commitment from government in the coming years.

Pakistan: ASTI–PARC Country Note

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Authors:
Kathleen Flaherty, Muhammad Sharif, David J. Spielman

Year:
2012

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC)

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related publication(s)

Pakistan: ASTI Country Brief

Related country page(s)
Pakistan

 



Agricultural R&D investment in Pakistan increased during 2000–09, albeit at an irregular pace. Pakistan has one of the largest agricultural research systems among developing countries, employing over 3,500 FTE researchers. However, based on a number of indicators, Pakistan appears to be falling behind other South Asian countries. As of 2009, agricultural research spending did not match AgGDP growth, resulting in a weakening agricultural research intensity ratio of 0.21; the share of agricultural researchers holding PhD degrees remained low, at 18 percent; and, despite improvements at a number of institutes, overall employment of female researchers continues to be very low. Finally, private investment in agricultural research has grown but remained relatively small as of 2009.

These financial and capacity challenges have occurred at a time of institutional uncertainty. Spending and capacity patterns have fluctuated as agencies adjust to the devolution and reorganization of responsibilities across national, provincial, and local levels of government in response to the 18th Amendment to the country’s constitution. Provincial institutes have taken on a larger role in agricultural research, but questions remain as to whether they are resourced and structured to do so effectively.

This period of change has, however, offered opportunities to review existing structures and reassess research priorities. Whether the changes will yield advancements both in the system itself and in agricultural productivity remains to be seen.

 

Vietnam: ASTI–MARD Country Brief

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Authors:
Stads, Gert-Jan; Nguyen, Viet Hai

Year:
2006

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related country page(s)
Vietnam

Agricultural researcher totals in Vietnam increased steadily during 1991–2003, reaching nearly 3,000 fte’s in 2003. The country’s agricultural R&D expenditures almost tripled throughout 1996–2002 as a result of an increased commitment by the national government to financing agricultural research, as well as a rise in donor  support. Nonetheless, average expenditures per researcher and research intensity levels are still lower than in many of Vietnam’s Southeast Asian neighbors.
With the launch of its medium-term program for 2001–10, the national government announced that it intended to attain an agricultural research intensity ratio of 0.51 percent by 2005. In view of the country’s low 2002 ratio (0.17 percent) and modest growth in R&D spending in real terms during 2002-05, this goal appears to have been somewhat overoptimistic. Nonetheless, the approval of large-scale investments in biotechnology research by the Vietnamese government in February 2006 certainly underlines the government’s commitment to reaching this goal.

Besides relatively low investment levels, agricultural research in Vietnam is characterized by low qualification levels of research staff, a legacy of the country’s political isolation. Since the country’s political and economic reforms, rapidly increasing numbers of scientists have been trained abroad to the MSc and PhD level, significantly boosting average degree levels in recent years.

In 2005 MARD-led R&D underwent a major reshuffling, in which the total number of MARD agencies with a research mandate was reduced from 28 to 12. Another round of mergers is expected to halve this total again by 2008. These amalgamations aim to eliminate duplication of research efforts between the various MARD agencies, but they do not appear to address the extreme geographic centralization of Vietnamese agricultural R&D, with most activities still taking place in the immediate vicinity of Hanoi (and to a lesser extent Ho Chi Minh City). This situation prevents R&D from being closely connected with Vietnam’s rural development programs.

Sri Lanka: ASTI–CARP Country Brief

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Authors:
Stads, Gert-Jan; Gunasena, Herath P. M.; Herath, Walter

Year:
2005

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Sri Lanka Council for Agricultural Research Policy (CARP)

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related country page(s)
Sri Lanka

During 1981-2003, the number of agricultural researchers in Sri Lanka increased steadily. Agricultural R&D spending also rose throughout this period, albeit more erratically. In 2003, total expenditures amounted to $60 million (in 2000 constant prices). Research agencies focusing on export plantation crops reported remarkable increases in their total spending levels over the previous two decades. Combined spending totals at the eight agencies under MALLI, however, remained relatively unchanged during the same period.

With the exception of the plantation crop research institutes, which receive sizable shares of their total budget through cess proceeds, Sri Lanka’s government R&D agencies are primarily financed by the national government through a dual funding system. The government directly provides operational and capital funds, and channels funds for strategic research via CARP’s CCRGP, a competitive funding mechanism. The introduction of CCRGP is a positive development and one that has already promoted collaboration between the various agencies in the country’s national agricultural research system. It has also accelerated private sector involvement in the agricultural R&D field, a phenomenon that had been extremely limited thus far. Total CCRGP funds have risen rapidly in recent years and are expected to rise further in the future as a result of the Sri Lankan government’s acknowledgement of the importance of R&D for agricultural productivity growth. Nonetheless, at present, CCRGP funds still represent a very small percentage of total agricultural R&D financing and the program can only run efficiently in the future if a wellfunctioning incentive system is established that recognizes research outputs and forces more researchers to apply for such funds.

These changes were accompanied by the establishment in 2002 of a training program for research staff. Memoranda of understanding with the principal agricultural research agencies in other South Asian countries allow Sri Lankan researchers to improve their research capacity in contexts relevant to the Sri Lankan situation. In the next ten years, three quarters of Sri Lankan research staff are scheduled for training as part of this program. This will most certainly have a positive effect on the quality of future research outputs in the country.

Philippines: ASTI Country Brief

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Authors:
Stads, Gert-Jan; Faylon, Patricio S.; Buendia, Leah J.

Year:
2007

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Philippine Council For Agriculture, Forestry And Natural Resources Research And Development (PCARRD)

Publication category

Asia and the Pacific

Related publication(s)

Philippines: ASTI Country Report

In 2005, agriculture accounted for 14 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP), down from 23 percent in 1982. Despite the decreasing importance of  agriculture in the country’s GDP and exports, the sector still represents a priority area to the Philippines as roughly three-quarters of the rural poor depend on agriculture for employment and income. Agricultural research and development (R&D) is crucial in alleviating rural poverty and it is therefore granted a priority by the Philippine government.

This brief provides an overview of the major investment trends in agricultural research in the Philippines since the mid-1980s, drawing on a new set of data developed through a comprehensive survey by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD).

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