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Pakistan

ISO: 
PAK
French: 
Pakistan
Spanish: 
Pakistán
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DMP_ID: 
69
ASTI-Country: 
1
Main Agency Acronym(s): 
HQ

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.

Public Agricultural R&D in South Asia: Greater Government Commitment, Yet Underinvestment Persists

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Authors:
Stads, Gert-Jan; Rahija, Michael

Year:
2012

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Publication category

Overview publications

Related publication(s)

Bangladesh: ASTI–BARC Country Note

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.

Pakistan: ASTI–PARC Country Note

ASTI publicaiton cover

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.

 

Pakistan: ASTI Country Brief

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Authors:
Beintema, Nienke; Malik, Waqar; Sharif, Muhammad

Year:
2006

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

Publication category

Country briefs, archived

Related publication(s)

Pakistan: ASTI Country Report

Related country page(s)
Pakistan

Agriculture forms the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. The sector contributes 25 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs almost half of its labor force. For these reasons, agricultural productivity growth is a key factor in Pakistan’s economic development and poverty alleviation objectives. In turn, agricultural research and development (R&D) is crucial in generating agricultural productivity gains through new and improved crop varieties, cropping practices, labor-saving technologies, postharvest and processing methods, and marketing mechanisms.

This brief provides an overview of the major investment trends in agricultural research in Pakistan since the early 1990s, drawing on a new set of data developed through a comprehensive survey by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

Pakistan: ASTI Country Report

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
Beintema, Nienke; Malik, Waqar; Sharif, Muhammad; Stads, Gert-Jan; Mustafa, Usman

Year:
2007

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

With nearly 3,600 fte researchers in 2003, Pakistan has one of the largest agricultural R&D systems in Asia. However, agricultural researcher totals in Pakistan have increased only slowly during the past two decades, mainly as a result of prolonged periods of recruitment restrictions. In addition, at just 15 percent in 2003, the  share of Pakistani agricultural research staff trained to PhD level is relatively low, compared to some of Pakistan’s South Asian neighbors. Further, researchers at the government agencies face limited promotion opportunities, low salary levels, and few other incentives. Promotions, when they take place, are based on seniority and not on merit. This has led to a brain drain of researchers from the government sector to universities, non-research agencies, or to opportunities outside Pakistan.

Agricultural R&D expenditure in Pakistan contracted significantly during 1991–99 due to cuts in the government budget and the completion of large donor-funded projects, but rebounded somewhat since the establishment of ALP, a joint program between PARC and the United States Department of Agriculture. In 2003, the  country invested $187 million in agricultural R&D (in 2000 international dollars), significantly lower than the $219 million recorded in 1991.

The organizational structure of agricultural R&D in Pakistan is somewhat complex, but with a clear distinction between federal- and provincial-level research agencies. Research conducted by federal government agencies is largely long-term priority research, while the research conducted at the provincial level is mostly adaptive at the provincial level. PARC is the country’s principal federal agency involved in agricultural R&D and it oversees a number of institutions that conduct agricultural research in a wide variety of agro-ecological zones within the country. One of these agencies is NARC, the country’s largest in terms of research staff and spending. In addition, each of Pakistan’s four provinces has a well established research institute attached to the Department of Agriculture. Each such provincial research  institute has several satellite research stations, research farms and other research facilities in various commodities specific and agroecological zones within a  province. At 10 percent of total research staff and spending, the higher education sector plays a relatively limited role in the conduct of agricultural R&D in Pakistan.

Agricultural R&D in Pakistan is still dominated by the public sector. By our estimates, private-sector agencies accounted for just 6 percent of the country’s agricultural R&D expenditures in 2003. Public agricultural R&D in Pakistan is heavily reliant on government sources of support. Foreign donor support has traditionally played an important role in financing agricultural R&D in Pakistan, although exact shares of donor funding were not available. The United States (through USAID and USDA) and
the World Bank (through ARP I and II), for example, have directed significant funds toward the establishment of new institutes, the upgrading of research equipment, as well as human resource development and degree-level training.

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