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Cost aspects of African agricultural research:

Author

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  • Pardey, Philip G.
  • Roseboom, Johannes
  • Beintema, Nienke M.
  • Chan-Kang, Connie

Abstract

Spending per scientist declined precipitously within African agricultural R&D agencies over the past several decades. In 1991, average cost per researcher across 147 R&D agencies was $119,300 in 1985 international dollars — or US$59,500 when measured in United States rather than international dollars — 34 percent below the corresponding 1961 figure. This trend reflects the rapid growth in numbers of scientific staff compared with the slow growth in funds to support them. Comparatively low, and often shrinking, real salaries per scientist are a factor too. African scientists were paid an average of US$5,000 in 1991 (or roughly US$7,500 with fringe benefits included), while comparable average salaries for academic staff working in large public universities in the United States were $58,889 (or $72,667 with fringe benefits included. The new, agency-level data reported in this paper reveal significant variation in the costs per scientist not apparent from the country averages. There were 67 agencies (46 percent) that spent less than $100,000 per scientist per annum. Simple econometric procedures were applied to a sub-sample of 107 agencies in 21 countries to investigate reasons for the large variation in costs per scientist. The intensity of support staff per scientist and the intensity with which expatriate researchers are used are important sources of variation. Larger stations lowered the costs and having more stations raised costs, but not significantly so. An agency's organizational type had a significant influence on its costs. Semipublic agencies typically spent considerably more per scientist than government agencies with 1991 figures of $207,700 for the former, compared with around $104,600 for the latter (in 1985 international dollars). GDP per capita and various other unspecified, country-specific effects also accounted for much of the observed variation in costs per scientist.

Suggested Citation

  • Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes & Beintema, Nienke M. & Chan-Kang, Connie, 1999. "Cost aspects of African agricultural research:," EPTD discussion papers 42, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:42
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes & Beintema, Nienke M., 1997. "Investments in african agricultural research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 409-423, March.
    2. Roseboom, Johannes & Pardey, Philip G. & Beintema, Nienke M., 1998. "The changing organizational basis of African agricultural research:," EPTD discussion papers 37, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    4. Beintema, Nienke M. & Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes, 1998. "Educating agricultural researchers: a review of the role of African universities," EPTD discussion papers 36, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    8. Barbara J. Craig & Philip G. Pardey & Johannes Roseboom, 1997. "International Productivity Patterns: Accounting for Input Quality, Infrastructure, and Research," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(4), pages 1064-1076.
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    Cited by:

    1. Walker, Thomas S. & Pitoro, Raul & Tomo, Alda & Sitoe, Isabel & Salencia, Celestino & Mahanzule, Rosalina & Donovan, Cynthia & Mazuze, Feliciano M., 2006. "Priority Setting for Public-Sector Agricultural Research in Mozambique with the National Agricultural Survey Data," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 56113, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. Falck Zepeda, José & Barreto-Triana, Nancy & Baquero-Haeberlin, Irma & Espitia-Malagón, Eduardo & Fierro-Guzmán, Humberto & López, Nancy, 2006. "An exploration of the potential benefits of integrated pest management systems and the use of insect resistant potatoes to control the Guatemalan Tuber Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny) in Ventaquemada,," EPTD discussion papers 152, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Linacre, Nicholas & Falck-Zepeda, José & Komen, John & MacLaren, Donald, 2006. "Risk assessment and management of genetically modified organisms under Australia's Gene Technology Act:," EPTD discussion papers 157, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Pardey, Philip G. & Alston, Julian M. & Chan-Kang, Connie & Magalhães, Eduardo C. & Vosti, Stephen A., 2002. "Assessing and attributing the benefits from varietal improvement research: evidence from Embrapa, Brazil," EPTD discussion papers 95, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Beintema, Nienke M. & Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes, 1998. "Educating agricultural researchers: a review of the role of African universities," EPTD discussion papers 36, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Walker, Thomas S. & Pitoro, Raul & Tomo, Alda & Sitoe, Isabel & Salencia, Celestino & Mahanzule, Rosalina & Donovan, Cynthia & Mazuze, Feliciano M., 2006. "Estabelecimento de Prioridades para a Investigação Agrária no Sector Público em Moçambique Baseado nos Dados do Trabalho de Inquérito Agrícola (TIA)," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 55866, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    7. Paul J. Block & Kenneth Strzepek & Mark W. Rosegrant & Xinshen Diao, 2008. "Impacts of considering climate variability on investment decisions in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, pages 171-181.
    8. Gruère, Guillaume & Giuliani, Alessandra & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Marketing underutilized plant species for the benefit of the poor: a conceptual framework," EPTD discussion papers 154, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Di Falco, Salvatore & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia," EPTD discussion papers 153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Gruère, Guillaume P., 2006. "An analysis of trade related international regulations of genetically modified food and their effects on developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 147, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Sumberg, James, 2005. "Systems of innovation theory and the changing architecture of agricultural research in Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 21-41, February.
    12. Smale, Melinda & Zambrano, Patricia & Falck-Zepeda, José & Gruère, Guillaume, 2006. "Parables: applied economics literature about the impact of genetically engineered crop varieties in developing economies," EPTD discussion papers 158, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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