The International Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology Research (ICABR)


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Resource Indicators for Agricultural Biotechnology Research in LDCs
Cesar A. Falconi Research Officer ISNAR

I. Rationale

Biotechnology's impact on agricultural production in the medium and long term in developing countries is a matter of urgent discussion. Encompassing this trend induces research institutes to incorporate basic capabilities and tools of modern biotechnology into productive processes. This trend is particularly important for agriculture as countries recover, maintain and eventually expand resources needed for competitive positions in international markets and for the development of sustainable agriculture.

Resources available for agricultural investments are one indicator of efforts to strengthen or create these capabilities. In addition, information on the size, structure, and content of public research is needed to improve policy decisions, clarify roles of the public and private sectors, and support public sector implementation of biotechnology research. Information on the capacity of agricultural biotechnology research in less developed countries is very limited.

II. Objectives

The objectives of this document are

III. Methodology and Scope

The survey will be completed for the most relevant public and private organizations involved in agricultural biotechnology research activities of five selected countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Peru). The survey is organized in three parts. The first part provides information of a descriptive nature of the biotechnology programs or institutions. The second part focuses on information related to physical, human and financial resources available for agricultural biotechnology. The final part identifies the research projects that the institutions are carrying out in agricultural biotechnology. Kenya, Mexico and Indonesia surveys are already completed.

After gathering the data, it will be entered into a homogenous database in order to compare the results and derive analysis for related questions such as :

Has the public investment grown under analysis period?

How does the level of investment in surveyed countries compare to more developed countries?

How is biotechnology funded?

How much is the level of expenditure per researcher and in comparison to the other countries?

Research Expenditures that include personnel, operational and capital expenses will be presented in real local currency and also in real dollars but converted to international standards by the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) Index. The expenditures presented by PPP dollars can be used to compare to other country expenditure levels.

IV. Expected Output and Utility

The most important output of this initiative will be the new information that will be generated in the research report. These outputs will provide a new set of information that will enrich the capacity of decision of the policy makers on agricultural biotechnology. The report will provide a systematic information of the status of the biotechnology research system in the selected countries that can be used as good input for the decision making process.