Public Investment in Agricultural Research and Extension in India
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Earlier studies have empirically illustrated the significant role that investment in agricultural research and extension (R&E) plays in enhancing productivity, accelerating agricultural growth and reducing poverty in India. This article adds to the existing literature on the spatial and temporal dimensions of agricultural R&E investments with special emphasis on returns to investment in major states of India. The study reveals that significant structural changes have occurred in the pattern of agricultural R&E investments across sectors and states over the past five decades. R&E investments on the crop and fishery sectors improved over time at the expense of the livestock sector. Similarly, the states' share in aggregate R&E investments declined over the years, while the centre's improved proportionately. Returns to investments differed significantly according to geography, with the states that had a higher share of total factor productivity growth in their output growth faring better than the rest in relative terms. The R&E investment in the crop sub-sector in India has been especially rewarding, generating returns that are close to 50 per cent. In general, the findings of the study suggest the engineering of a deliberate shift in focus from alternative types of investment to agricultural R&E to meet the future growth challenges in India's agriculture sector.
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