A new Discussion Paper by ASTI research fellow Alejandro Nin-Pratt argues that the traditional method for measuring the intensity of a country's investment in agricultural research is inadequate, and proposes an alternative method that allows for meaningful comparisons between countries.
Traditionally, a country's agricultural research efforts have been calculated with the intensity ratio: the measure of agricultural research spending as a share of agricultural GDP. Although this indicator could provide useful insights into relative investment levels over time for particular countries, Nin-Pratt argues it does not take into account deciding factors other than agriculture that affect potential levels of investment. The new ASTI intensity index is a weighted measure that combines agricultural research spending as a share of agricultural GDP with four additional weighted intensity ratios related to the size of the country’s economy, its income, its capacity to take advantage of the knowledge produced by other countries, and the degree of output diversification in agriculture.
This improved measure provides a very different picture of international agricultural research investment intensity, with countries such as Brazil, China, Kenya, and India showing levels of research investment intensity similar to those of the USA.
Read and download the Discussion Paper, "Comparing apples to apples: A new indicator of research and development investment intensity in agriculture" and a Q&A flyer describing the new ASTI Intensity Index .