Returns to Agriculture from Public Research between 1953 and 1994

  • 43 pages

  • Published: 7 Dec 2012

  • Author(s): Mullen, John D.

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This report documents trends in the financing of research since 1953 and notes that the rate of growth in real expenditure has been much slower since 1970. It documents the high rate of productivity growth in broadacre agriculture since 1953 and notes estimates of the rate of return to investments in research in Australian broadacre agriculture of 15 to 40 per cent. The report describes how the benefits from research are shared between farmers, processors and consumers and points out that farmers are likely to gain a larger share of the benefits from traditional on-farm research than from processing research and promotion, the benefits of which are shared with competitors. The future for publicly-funded research will be shaped by pressures for a more focused role which includes a narrower perception of the role of government, the implications flowing from national competition policy, and an expectation that industry becomes more self-reliant and accountable in identifying and financing research priorities. (Published in December 1996)