Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer in Developing Countries
Agriculture is one of the key role players in the growth of economy and development of a nation. A lot of changes have occurred in the global agricultural sector. The advent of technology and agricultural development go hand to hand. Agricultural technologies and knowledge have been disseminated by public institutions. Biotechnology for agricultural production has been one of the great innovations that have push agriculture to another level. Today, most of the developing countries have invested substantially in agricultural research and technology.
Every public sector has a role to play when it comes to growth of agriculture in every developing nation. Public sectors in developing nations help in managing new knowledge, supporting research, regulating and promoting private companies. Since the end of Second World War, many governments have played great roles in transfer of agricultural technologies in developing countries. Most of the countries in Africa and Latin America and in Asia have heavily relied on agricultural production for sustenance of economy.
Modernization of agriculture sector as always been accelerated by general development activities. Physical products were not being produced in this era and technologies were considered public sector goods accessible by any individual in need. By late 1970s, all this changed as technologies become embodied to physical products such as agrochemicals and farm machinery. There was immeasurable growth in the industrial sector and this led to expansion of private firms that created and manufactured technology.
Private firms have also not been left behind as they have seen opportunities to offer aid in complex seed improvement research to create and then distribute new crop hybrids. This has indeed changed the role of public sector. After the World War II, the U.S has played great role in the transfer of technology in developing countries. Surprisingly, United States was offering training programmes such as scholarship for international student managed by the US Department of Agriculture [USDA]. Foundations such as Rockefeller and Ford supported university libraries in most of the developing countries.
Some of the developing nations have also worked greatly in creation of National Agricultural research institutes [NARIs] to conduct applied statistics. Latin America countries expect Paraguay and El Salvador have come up with such organizations. African nations like Kenya and Uganda and Asian nations like India and Pakistan have also invested immensely to develop similar organizations. International research centers have aided in development of technologies for major global food crops such as rice, millets, beans, cassava, wheat and corn among others.
These organizations have worked together in sharing training, provided advice and counselling to local farmers more so diffusing new knowledge into country’s production system. Technology is still transferred to developing nations, but funds for agricultural research have shrank and agricultural science has grown more complex. The new economic and scientific contexts require more complex and advanced models of transferring technology.
Common components that most countries rely on include knowledge management, regulation and promotion of private sector, gap filling research and environmental impact analysis. If public sectors stay focused, it will be easy to transfer technology and conduct agricultural research effectively. Mergers between public and private sectors can work miracles in the competitive agricultural sector as funds for training will be easy to access and aid improve technology policy in majority of developing nations.
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