India: ASTI–NAARM Country Factsheet
Gert-Jan Stads, Kalpana Sastry, Ganesh Kumar, Tara Kondisetty, and Lang Gao
International Food Policy Research Institute and National Academy of Agricultural Research Management.
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.
Public Agricultural R&D in South Asia: Greater Government Commitment, Yet Underinvestment Persists
Stads, Gert-Jan; Rahija, Michael
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
New quantitative evidence presented in this report demonstrates that total public agricultural R&D spending in South Asia more than doubled between 1996 and 2009, while the number of agricultural researchers decreased by 6 percent. These trends were largely driven by India, which has the highest investment levels and strongest human resource capacity in agricultural research South Asia by far (both in terms of size and qualification levels), as well as the highest agricultural research spending intensity at 0.4 percent of AgGDP. Despite rapid increases in recent years, South Asia’s agricultural R&D spending is still very low compared with other developing regions around the world.
Compared with India, agricultural R&D in the four other South Asian countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) faces greater challenges. Relative investment levels are lower in these countries than in India and have shown greater year-to-year fluctuations, in many instances due to the instability of donor funding. Agricultural research staff in these countries is also significantly less-qualified than in India, the combined result of prolonged recruitment freezes, losses of highly qualified senior staff, limited training opportunities, and an aging population of researchers. In addition, political instability in some countries has either delayed or complicated much needed institutional and policy reforms.
The scientific competence of South Asia’s agricultural R&D agencies is high, particularly in India, but as in many developing regions of the world, stronger linkages are needed to connect agricultural research agencies and their staff with the end users of their research to improve the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of research outputs. Further efforts to strengthen subregional linkages are also needed in order to better utilize limited resources and reduce wasteful duplication. In addition, good governance is key to promoting the effectiveness and efficiency of research, and ongoing policy and institutional reform will be needed to further strengthen agricultural R&D and innovation in South Asia.
India: ASTI–ICAR Policy Brief
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)
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.
India: ASTI–ICAR Country Note
Pal, Suresh; Rahija, Michael; Beintema, Nienke
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
India has substantially increased its public funding of agricultural research since the late 1990s. This trend will likely continue in years to come. The Indian government’s strong commitment to agricultural R&D has been rewarded with high economic and social returns to research investments. Nonetheless, India’s research intensity ratio, measured as public agricultural R&D spending as a share of agricultural output, continues to be relatively low. In its upcoming twelfth ive-year plan, the Indian government seeks to address this deiciency by committing 1 percent of AgGDP to agricultural R&D. However, given the scope of the challenges facing the nation, an intensity ratio of less than 2 percent will almost certainly be insuicient.
ICAR and the SAU system are making a concerted efort to better target research and to improve coordination of programs across the various institutions. Deliberate eforts are also being made to foster partnership with the farming community and with other stakeholders, so as to accelerate the low of technology.
The quality of India’s research staf has improved, as evidenced in the growing share of PhD-qualiied researchers. But the number of researchers has fallen by 8 percent since the turn of the millennium. This drop is primarily driven by declining research capacity at the SAUs due to budget constraints. Without an efective policy response, the state research capacity will decline further, leading to less time spent on research by SAU faculty. A inal concern is the fragmentation of SAUs along disciplinary lines. A trend toward greater specialization could hinder integrated technology development and demonstration on farmers’ ields.