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Private Agricultural Research


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  • Pray, Carl E.
  • Fuglie, Keith O.
  • Johnson, Daniel K.N.


This chapter serves to assess the quantity and impact of private agricultural research in developing countries, alongside the policies which affect that research. To provide context, an outline of the history, size and structure of private research presents data on research expenditures by region, by agency, by crop and by industrial sector. Evidence on research inputs reflects not only the importance of private research, but also the wide national and regional differences in both inputs and implementation of programs. Research output and intellectual property rights (IPR) protection are also strikingly different across time and space, as seen in data on agricultural IPRs by region, by industrial origin, and by crop type. The diffusion of agricultural innovations among farmers is described using data on approvals of genetically modified crops, and on cultivated areas actually planted. Studies of the subsequent impacts of agricultural research show that private sector research is making an important contribution to agricultural productivity growth in some countries and could make an even larger impact if government policies were more favorable. The conclusion provides a review of economic and policy determinants affecting private incentives, and some policy prescriptions to encourage further investment.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Robert Evenson & Prabhu Pingali (ed.), 2007. "Handbook of Agricultural Economics," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 1, 00.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Agricultural Economics with number 5-49.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:hagchp:5-49

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    Keywords: Farmers; Farm Production and Farm Markets;

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    Cited by:
    1. Alexander, Corinne E. & Goodhue, Rachael E., 1999. "Production Systems Competition And The Pricing Of Innovations: An Application To Biotechnology And Seed Corn," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21646, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Anwar Naseem & David J. Spielman & Steven Were Omamo, 2010. "Private-sector investment in R&D: a review of policy options to promote its growth in developing-country agriculture," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 143-173.
    3. Ferroni, Marco, 2009. "Can Private Sector R&D Reach Small Farms?," Conference Proceedings 2009 125180, Crawford Fund.
    4. Carl E. Pray & Anwar Naseem, 2003. "Biotechnology R&D: Policy options to ensure access and benefits for the poor," Working Papers 03-08, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).


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