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Encouraging technical progress in tropical agriculture *

By Michael Kremer, Alix Peterson Zwane, Ranajit B and Nicholas Hayden


Abstract: Agricultural needs in poor, tropical countries differ significantly from those in temperate, rich countries. Yet little agricultural research is performed on products for the tropics. Private sector research is particularly concentrated in rich countries. This is a result of significant failures in the market for R&D, in particular, the difficulty of preventing the resale of seed in developing countries. To encourage private R&D in tropical agriculture, traditional funding of basic research may be usefully supplemented by a commitment to reward developers of new agricultural technologies needed in developing countries. Rewards that are tied to adoption may be especially useful in increasing technology up-take. To illustrate how a commitment to reward developers of new agricultural technologies might work, we examine a possible structure for payments for finger millet seed modified to be resistant to blast

Topics: JEL Classification Code, O130, O310 Keywords, agriculture, R&D, technical change
Year: 2002
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