Dr Nicholas Rada (Senior Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture) is presenting a seminar today (14th July) at 4 pm in Seanza conference hall. He is talking on “Evaluating research and education performance in Indian agricultural development”.
India’s agricultural research spending has long been regionally uneven, consistently favoring northern, western, and southern states over central and eastern ones. Farm production patterns have, however, changed in recent years and regional output growth is being driven by new commodity mixes. In this paper we ask whether India’s region-specific education and agricultural research portfolios have been distributed in a way that maximizes total research return rate and productivity growth. Our analysis relies on a 1980-2008 Indian agricultural production and policy dataset together with a dual heteroscedastic production frontier to decompose total factor productivity (TFP) growth into its formal technical progress and efficiency elements. The model’s regional flexible affords region-to-region comparison of multiple research return rates, TFP growth, and the elements influencing them. Regardless of return-rate measure or allocation scenario evaluated, the North has enjoyed the highest return rates and the Central and East the lowest. Factor productivity growth has however been strongest in the South, primarily on account of efficiency gains. By introducing distributional as well as national-aggregate considerations, our regional analysis substantially broadens policy-maker opportunities for bringing all these factors to bear on agricultural development.
Keywords: Agriculture, agricultural research, education, efficiency change, India, technical change, total factor productivity (TFP)