Privatising agricultural R&D, an example from the South African sugar industry
Given demands on public funding, the question arises whether agricultural research should be the responsibility of the public or private sectors, or whether the state should play a facilitating role. These issues are studied using the management and success of R&D in the South African Sugar Industry as an example. The usual answer is that research should be publicly funded if it is a public good and privately funded if a private good. It is shown that even if aspects of research have clear public good characteristics, then it is still possible to internalise externalities. Sugar cane farmers pay a levy of about 1.0% of the value of the crop to finance their R&D package, which includes research, training and extension. The sugar growers decide on the amount of the levy themselves. A possible reason why sugar farmers agree to this levy is that a bottom-up multidisciplinary research programme is followed in which they have a direct say. Scientists from different disciplines work together on a single crop. The South African government should consider the Dutch example where the role of government has shifted from administrator of institutions to stimulator (sponsor) of research. Government should thus still play a critical role in R&D funding in South Africa and there is concern that State funding has declined. Private incentives for research may be weaker in the case of generic research with broad applications across commodities. However, in the latter case it will be expected that different commodity organisations will embark on joint projects as has happened in the past.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Rausser, Gordon C. & de Janvry, Alain & Schmitz, Andrew & Zilberman, David D., 1980.
"Principal issues in the evaluation of public research in agriculture,"
Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series
qt74v9m7dh, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
- Rausser, Gordon C. & de Janvry, Alain & Schmitz, Andrew & Zilberman, David, 1980. "Principal Issues in the Evaluation of Public Research in Agriculture," Evaluation of Agricultural Research, Proceedings of a Workshop, Minneapolis, MN, May 12-13, 1980, Miscellaneous Publication 8 49077, University of Minnesota, Agricultural Experiment Station.
- Rausser, Gordon C. & de Janvry, Alain & Schmitz, Andrew & Zilberman, David, 1980. "Principal issues in the evaluation of public research in agriculture," CUDARE Working Paper Series 86, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
- Demsetz, Harold, 1969. "Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, April.
- W. L. Nieuwoudt & N. Vink, 1989. "The Effects of Increased Earnings from Traditional Agriculture in Southern Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 57(3), pages 168-177, 09.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:9487. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.