23 July 2009

 

In a GFAR Briefing recent paper written by Ruben G. Echeverria and Nienke M. Beintema, the authors examine past and current trends in the funding of agricultural research and analyze various agricultural research funding mechanisms that have been used in the past and should be explored today in order to increase agricultural research outputs in developing countries. Much was discovered through their research and analysis.
 Despite recent increased international awareness of the importance of agriculture as a generator of income, employment, foreign exchange and tax revenues as well as its association with poverty reduction and the preservation of natural resources, there is still a need for increased awareness of the important role that agricultural research for development (AR4D) plays in the above issues. 

The great potential of AR4D in issues of food security, poverty reduction, and preservation of natural resources must be emphasized in order to overcome the perpetual under-investment in public agricultural research in developing countries


Because under-funding threatens the survival of AR4D systems in developing countries, policymakers and development assistance agencies must find “alternative institutional mechanisms for sustained financing of AR4D”. Some such alternative mechanisms have been tried in many countries since the mid 1980s. They include: joint public-private sector ventures, sale of research products, competitive funds, research foundations, farmer managed levies on production, and greater involvement of universities and private sector research.
While exploring the potential of these alternative funding mechanisms is very important, another part of the solution is to create better managed and more flexible public sector systems, as the public sector is the greatest source of funding for agricultural research in developing countries.
In addition to national funding mechanisms, sub-regional, regional, and global mechanisms can both finance and implement AR4D. A consensus has been reached that coordination of the funding and implementation of agricultural research as well as increased funding for agricultural research is needed in order to address global agricultural research concerns.
To read the GFAR Briefing paper, please click on the below link.


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