U.S. Participation in International Agricultural Research

ID-77-55: Published: Jan 27, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 1978.

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The Agency for International Development (AID) expanded its funding for food and nutrition technical assistance and research programs for developing countries from $25 million in 1974 to about $71 million in 1978. These programs are conducted by U.S. universities and other institutions and by international agricultural research centers. Several previous studies have recommended stronger Agency action in the area of research.

AID needs to make further improvements in its agricultural research plans and programs for food deficient countries. The Agency should: identify specific problems for U.S. financing, establish the relative priority of problems, and determine which problems should be pursued through international agricultural research institutions or in similar ways. AID contributions to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a consortium which finances international agricultural research centers, were $18 million in 1977. The Agency has participated in CGIAR and contributed to international centers without the benefit of specific overall objectives and priorities to guide its participation. Issues involved in contributions to international agricultural research centers include areas in which to expand and the extent to which such centers help developing countries improve their capabilities in research. Greater involvement by AID missions in developing countries in setting research funding priorities should make research programs more responsive to the needs of those countries. AID should disclose more fully to the Congress the prospect of broadened international financial support and the likelihood that a long-term Agency commitment will be needed.

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