Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators: 2019 Global Food Policy Report Annex Table 1


International Food Policy Research (IFPRI)


International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)


Policymakers recognize that increased investment in
agricultural research is key to increasing agricultural productivity.
Despite this, many low- and middle-income
countries struggle with capacity and funding constraints
in their agricultural research systems.

Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI),
facilitated by the International Food Policy Research
Institute (IFPRI) within the portfolio of the CGIAR Research
Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets, works
with national, regional, and international partners to collect
time series data on the funding, human resource
capacity, and outputs of agricultural research in low- and
middle-income countries. Based on this information, ASTI
produces analysis, capacity-building tools, and outreach
products to help facilitate policies for effective and efficient
agricultural research.

“Agricultural research” includes government, higher education, and nonprofit agencies, but excludes the private for-profit sector. Total agricultural research spending includes salaries, operating and program costs, and capital investments for all agencies, excluding the private for-profit sector, involved in agricultural research in a country. Expenditures are adjusted for inflation and expressed in 2011 prices. Purchasing power parities (PPPs) measure the relative purchasing power of currencies across countries by eliminating national differences in pricing levels for a wide range of goods. PPPs are relatively stable over time, whereas exchange rates fluctuate considerably. In addition to looking at absolute levels of agricultural research investment and capacity, another way of comparing commitment to agricultural research is to measure research intensity—that is, total agricultural research spending as a percentage of agricultural output (AgGDP).

“Total agricultural researchers” (excluding the private for-profit sector) are reported in full-time equivalents (FTEs) to account for the proportion of time researchers actually spend on research activities. A critical mass of qualified agricultural researchers is crucial for implementing a viable research agenda, for effectively communicating with stakeholders, and for securing external funding. Therefore, it is important to look at the share of PhD-qualified researchers. Gender balance in agricultural research is important, given that women researchers offer different insights and perspectives that can help research agencies more effectively address the unique and pressing challenges of female farmers. Age imbalances among research staff should be minimized to ensure the continuity of future research as researchers retire.


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