Research Spillover Benefits and Experiences in Inter-Regional Technology Transfer

Shiferaw, B and Bantilan, M C S and Gupta, S C and Shetty, S V R (2004) Research Spillover Benefits and Experiences in Inter-Regional Technology Transfer. Monograph. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.

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The key role of international agricultural research is to develop technologies that wi l l have wider impacts in certain niche ecoregions that often cross national boundaries. When the potential for inter-regional transfer of research results is high, it is often economical to develop more centralized research programs catering to the needs of the ecoregion. This is also the case when the national programs are small and lack the requisite capacity to develop viable research programs. There are three types of spillovers - inter-regional, cross-commodity and price spillovers. This assessment focuses on inter-regional spillovers - external benefits from research investments undertaken beyond the state (inter-state spillovers) and national (international spillovers) boundaries. Several studies have shown that spillovers make important contributions to agriculture; hence impact assessments that ignore such effects will underestimate R&D benefits. This study is a first step towards providing a broader assessment and synthesis of inter-state and international technology transfers derived from ICRISAT's research. It brings together the available body of evidence and knowledge on technology spillovers from the major research areas - crop improvement, Natural Resources Management (NRM) and socioeconomics and policy. It provides a list of varieties and other innovations developed in one region that have been adapted in other regions or countries. Despite its limitations, the assessment identifies several instances of technology spillovers within Africa and Asia as well as a two-way transfer of germplasm and improved cultivars across the continents. Wi th selected examples, the study tries to provide useful insights on the preferred characteristics of the technologies, the extent of spillovers, the enabling processes and constraints that limit wider adaptation. Given its wider scope and interest to 'set the scene' (based on available information) for more in-depth future studies, a deliberate attempt has been made to focus on broader issues rather than details on specific innovations. This makes it difficult to draw very robust conclusions. However, the following generic lessons and recommendations can be made. The potential for future spillover of sorghum and millet technologies from Asia to Africa is limited. This implies the need to further strengthen sorghum and millet improvement work in WCA and ESA. Given the good potential for legume intensification in Africa, a stronger pigeonpea and chickpea improvement program is needed initially in the ESA region. A regional approach to breeding and genetic enhancement of groundnuts in Africa and Asia needs further analysis. The need for crop improvement research in all regions to account for changing market conditions, shifting consumer demand and farmer requirements may limit the potential for inter-regional spillovers. In addition to continuing the challenge of focusing NRM and socioeconomic and policy research on priority strategic areas that generate wider benefits, careful priority setting will be needed to exploit the existing opportunities from inter- and intra-regional transfer of technologies in all areas of research.

Item Type: Monograph (Monograph)
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Library ICRISAT
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2011 05:41
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2013 09:18
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