Analysis of agricultural research investment priorities for sustainable poverty reduction in Southeast Asia

Raitzer, D. A. and Maredia, M. K. (2012) Analysis of agricultural research investment priorities for sustainable poverty reduction in Southeast Asia. Food Policy, 37 (4). pp. 412-426.

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Underinvestment in agricultural research remains rife across Southeast Asia, despite the remaining importance of the subregion’s agricultural sector and ample evidence of agricultural technology impact to date. To help identify specific areas where additional investment is most needed, this study compares the impact potential for the poor of alternative agricultural research foci, taking changes in production patterns, consumption patterns and environmental sustainability into account. New spatial data on the distribution of poverty and the expenditure patterns of households below international poverty lines are used to offer more detailed assessment of the poverty relevance of alternative foci than possible previously. Patterns of impact potential are evaluated against evidence of impact to date to discern probabilities of success in achieving potential impacts. Impact patterns discerned are contrasted with current relative funding allocations across research areas in the subregion by National Agricultural Research Systems (NARSs) and International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs) to identify key funding gaps. Research on rice, vegetables, fruit and aquaculture is identified as having the largest gap between current investments and expected impacts. The rice research gap is the most pronounced, as it is the single source of a substantial share of quantified potential future benefits for the poor, has positive expected environmental benefits, and has a strong record of documented impact to date in the subregion. Vegetables, fruit and aquaculture appear to have greater relative impact potential for the poor and nutritional benefits than their funding shares, but the track record of impact to date is more limited and the likelihood of success for such investments is more uncertain.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Financial support by the ADB has been essential to the conduct of this study. Invaluable contributions to data analysis have been made by Zenaida Huelgas, Maria Isabel Ferino, Lorena Villano, Rio Maligalig and Aileen Maunahan. Essential data on expenditure patterns by consumers under the poverty line were provided by Olivier Dupriez of the World Bank, while poverty maps for the analysis of benefits to poor producers were provided by Stanley Wood of the CGIAR Consortium on Spatial Information. Helpful suggestions on an early draft were provided by Johannes Roseboom and Axel Tonini.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Southeast Asia, Agricultural research, Impact assessment, Technical change, Priority setting, Poverty
Author Affiliation: International Rice Research Institute, Social Science Division, DAPO Box 7777, Metro Manila, Philippines
Subjects: Social Sciences > Agricultural Economics
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 17 May 2012 03:37
Last Modified: 17 May 2012 03:37
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