Overview of the organization and structure of national agricultural research systems in Asia

Senanayake, Y.D.A. (1990) Overview of the organization and structure of national agricultural research systems in Asia. Working Paper. International Service for National Agricultural Research, Hague.

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This review of the organization and structure of national agricultural research systems (NARS) covers five countries from South Asia, four from South East Asia, three from East Asia, and four from the South Pacific. These countries are diverse in size, population, economic status, jevel of agricultural development,and status of agricultural research. Hence, the structures and functions of the NARS are quitevaried. In many countries, support for agricultural research is below one percent of the agricultural gross domestic product. From the 1960s to the 1980s, agricultural research in the region changed dramatically. Reorganization, which established apex bodies, led to strengthening of the NARS and increased investment in agricultural research. Research manpower also increased considerably. The unique "council" system of Asia resulted from the restructuring of the NARS over the past 25 years. ICAR of India became a model for research councils established in Bangladesh (BARC), Pakistan (PARC), the Philippines (PCARRD), and Sri Lanka (CARP). These councils have important differences, but they were created for the same purpose, that of making management of agricultural research more autonomous. Managing-and coordinating-type councils are discussed. The autonomous research institute model is a!so common in Asia (AARD of Indonesia, MARDI of Malaysia, and RDA of South Korea). The NARS in the Pacific region, Nepal and Thailand stil! follow the Ministry of Agriculture model. The organization and structure of the Asian NARS have been quite dynamic. Many of the systems have undergone changes in structure, mandates, coverage, commodity focus, and functions. These changes were introduced to make the apex bodies and the NARS more effective and efficient. It allowed them to rapidly develop research capacity to utilize the ihcreased resources provided by the government and external donors. The changes are discussed in detail in this overview paper. The functions of the apex bodies include: policy formulation, research coordination, priority setting, program planning, funding, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, infrastructure and human development, information dissemination, and technology transfer. The structures to carry out these funct!ons are similar: governing council or board, secretariat, scientific panels and commodity teams, and technicil committees. Details of the composition of these bodies are also provided. Inter-institutional research collaboration in NARS needs to be strengthened. The mechanisms used by apex bodies for this purpose are varied. The national coordinated project scheme has been used as a mode! by many NAR3. There is a need to tap the resources of universities to support agricultural research. Strong linkages with international agricultural research centers (IARCs), as well as with regional centers, have been established 'y the Asian NARS. IRRI, ICRISAT, and AVRDC are located in Asia. Other IARCs have tstablished regional centers. The work of these IARCs has strongly influenced nationial agricultu.ral research --in the area of programs, in training of manpower, aiid in the structure of the NAY~S. The NARS of Asia and the Pacific are expected to remain dynamic in the future. Although the problems of the past --the neeo for more food for more people, low incomes among the poor, production in marginal areas, degradation of the environment --will remain, new challenges will face the future NARS. New issues will call for new initiatives in modern biotechnology, sustainability, information technology, etc. Further expansion of the NARS calls for new management approaches and improved managexl skills.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Population, Land, Production, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, RP6779
Author Affiliation: International Service for National Agricultural Research
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Ms Ishrath Durafsha
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2014 10:23
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2014 10:23
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/12980

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