Overall, global agricultural R&D spending in the public and private sectors steadily increased between 2000 and 2008. As further proof of positive development, most of this growth was driven by developing countries, since growth in high-income countries stalled. But, spending growth in developing countries was largely driven by positive trends in a number of larger, more advanced middle-income countries—such as China and India—masking negative trends in numerous smaller, poorer, and more technologically challenged countries. Countries in this last group are often highly vulnerable to severe volatility in funding, and hence in spending, which impedes the continuity and ultimately the viability of their research programs. Many R&D agencies in this group lack the necessary human, operating, and infrastructural resources to successfully develop, adapt, and disseminate science and technology innovations.
This report analyzes input indicators of public agricultural R&D for five South Asian countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It presents trends and challenges with regard to agricultural R&D investments and human resource capacity throughout the subregion, and provides recommendations for ways to address some of these challenges.
The analysis in this report draws largely from a set of country notes prepared by IFPRI’s Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative using comprehensive datasets derived from primary surveys covering 2002–09. These new datasets have been linked with historical ASTI datasets for the subregion, allowing a more long-term analysis of public agricultural R&D investment and capacity trends.
By: Jomo Kwame Sundaram with Oliver Schwank and Rudiger von Arnim
This paper critically reviews the impact of globalization on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the early 1980s. The large gains expected from opening up to international economic forces have, to date, been limited, and there have been significant adverse consequences. Foreign direct investment in SSA has been largely confined to resource—especially mineral—extraction, even as continuing capital flight has reduced financial resources available for productive investments. Premature trade liberalization has further undermined prospects for the economic development of SSA as productive capacities in many sectors are not sufficiently competitive to take advantage of any improvements in market access.
This paper examines the relationship between rurality and poverty, and the role the agricultural sector can play in rural development, poverty reduction, and overall development. The historical views regarding the role of the primary sector in development are presented, and then using original data, the paper argues that there was an historical misjudgment against the primary sector that served as a foundation for anti-agricultural bias in public policy until the late 80’s. Finally, this paper explains how under certain conditions territorial/regional development strategies may prosper, but in other conditions, particularly in the least-developed countries rural space, agriculture is still necessarily the starting point for rural development.
By: Gustavo Anríquez and Kostas Stamoulis