532 | IAASTD Global Report

be of short term in nature, which may divert attention from more crucial research topics and national priorities (Ech-everría, 1998). It has been noted in Africa that competitive grants (1) fail to include beneficiaries in the research pro­cess; (2) fail to prioritize and hence tend to spread resources too thinly; (3) create uncertainty as to whether the funds are truly competitive and are able to link to performance, given the limited number of researchers in the region; (4) are expensive to operate; and (5) are not sustainable without external donor support. The inherent ex-ante uncertainty in research, asymmetric information that makes monitoring of scientists by administration difficult, and the sharing of risk between funding agencies, administrators and scientists are issues that may make contract-oriented reforms in R&D complex even in industrialized countries. Commodity boards and growers' associations
The growing role of commodity boards, producer-funded or growers' associations, in research is also a related de­velopment. Nonprofit organizations constitute a compara­tively large share of agricultural research in Colombia and some Central American countries (Beintema and Pardey 2001). Colombia has twelve nonprofit institutions, which accounted for about one-quarter of the country's agricul­tural research investments during the mid-1990s. Many of these agencies began conducting research several decades ago and are funded largely through export or production taxes or voluntary contributions (Beintema et al., 2006). In Africa examples include agencies conducting research on tea (Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe), coffee (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania), cotton (Zambia), and sugar (Mauritius, South Africa). There are, however, other forms of nonprofit institutions in a number of countries, including Madagascar and Togo, although these play a limited role in agricultural research (Beintema and Stads, 2006). There is no evidence that the involvement of growers' associations or private sec­tor has added more investment for AKST or have been re­placing government funding.
         How far research driven by these agencies is different in terms of efficiency and effectiveness from that in state-funded organizations, especially in the developing world, is a question requiring further investigation. In tea research in India the R&D carried out under planters' association leads to the development of appropriate technology due to the greater awareness of clients' requirements, and faster or timely communication of these technologies to the users (Muliyar, 1983). If commodity boards have also a mandate for marketing and/or the provision of other support services (including subsidies), they may have a greater incentive for being effective in terms of technology generation and exten­sion, even if these boards function under the government (Narayana, 1992). In Kenya, acceptable ratios of personnel/ operations cost prevail in coffee and tea research, which is financed by a cess. But there are also cases in Kenya where growers' associations became politicized and hence being less accountable to the growers (Kangasniem, 2002).
         One concern is that the producers' associations or com­modity boards focus on the sole benefit to producers and thereby mostly neglecting the welfare of the consumers and the economy as a whole. It is not uncommon to see the growers' associations and commodity boards lobbying for


enhanced protection of their products in domestic markets or support for exports, both of which may have a negative impact on domestic consumers. Moreover, the provision of subsidies associated with the propagation of specific tech­nologies, as well as the bureaucratic compulsions of com­modity boards may also lead to excessive inducement of farmers to adopt specific production systems, which may not be sustainable in a more market-determined situation. Finally, it is possible that producer organizations may not be the best suppliers of research services except for adaptive on-farm research (Echeverria et al., 1996). These shortcom­ings provide a justification for continuation of government funding for basic and strategic research even in industrial­ized countries. Moreover, for crops that have a large number of cultivators such as rice or wheat, the concept of growers' association becomes unmanageable and would have prob­lems similar to those of government-owned research. Ad­ditionally, to what extent the small farmers are represented by these associations remains unclear and depends on the commodity and the countries. Private research
In the  industrialized countries  and the  more  advanced developing countries, the inadequacies of the public re­search model led to the gradual emergence of private sec­tor (or broadly market-oriented) reforms in agricultural R&D investments in the late seventies and eighties. This was facilitated by the interests and the capability that the private sector has developed in AKST investments. The structural adjustment policies implemented in many devel­oping countries,10 the global changes in trade regime and developments in biotechnologies, have also facilitated this transition.11 This transition is manifested in the increase in private sector funding in public sector organizations and universities, and the increase of the research directly car­ried out by private sector organizations. The commercial or application-orientation of the private sector to some extent fills the gap between technology generation and extension that existed in the public research model. There has been an increasing involvement of the private sector in agricultural extension as well (Umali and Schwartz, 1994).
          There are variations between countries and regions in terms of the contribution of private sector in agriculture re­search (see 8.1.1). Though private sector investments play an important role in OECD countries, their share in many developing countries continues to remain insignificant. Not surprisingly, there may be a linkage between national in­come of the countries and the role of the private sector in agricultural research (McIntire, 1998). But the lack of sig­nificant private research is also often the result of the legal and administrative environment in many countries (Ahmed and Nagy, 2001 ).12 There are indications that mutually
10 See Tabor (1995) for a number of articles dealing with the impact of structural adjustment policies on agricultural research system. 11 Private sector involvement in agricultural biotechnology research started much before, and by the 1990s, private sector investment in this regard has exceeded that of the universities and government owned laboratories (Lewis, 2000). 12 On the other hand some countries (for example, Thailand) seem to have government policies favorable to private sector research.