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Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - Twenty-sixth Triennial Conference of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE)
Title The efficiency–equity tradeoffs in agricultural research priority setting: the potential impacts of agricultural research on economic surplus and poverty reduction in Nigeria
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
City Brisbane
Country/State Australia
URL http://core.kmi.open.ac.uk/download/pdf/6430031.pdf
Abstract
Declining agricultural research budgets coupled with worsening poverty have
increasingly required formal priority setting of public agricultural research in developing
countries to ensure that scarce research resources are allocated in ways that will have the
greatest impact on the poor (Byerlee, 2000). However, there is no consensus regarding
whether the poor benefit more from agricultural research that pursues efficiency or equity
objectives, and hence of whether research priorities should be set according to efficiency
or equity criteria. It has long been recognized that while an agricultural research system is
best at helping a country achieve its efficiency objective through increased productivity,
it is a relatively weak instrument for changing income distribution in rural areas, and the
cost to society could be high if the research portfolio is biased by pursuing non-efficiency
goals (Ruttan, 1982; Alston et al., 1995; Otsuka, 2000). While most priority setting works
have thus emphasized efficiency objectives (e.g., Mills, 1997; Nagy and Quddus, 1998;
Mutangadura and Norton, 1999), donors and governments have now placed greater
emphasis on poverty alleviation as the central objective of public agricultural research
investments.

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