Supporting agricultural research policy and priority decisions: an economic-ecologic systems approach
This paper describes a quantitative, systems approach to agricultural research evaluation and priority setting. The approach is designed to support (ex ante) resource allocation decisions at the research-program level. To achieve this support, it links technical research parameters derived on an agroecological basis to a multi-market economic model to estimate the social benefits of research-induced technological change. The direct effects of research may be exhibited in the form of yield increases, cost reductions, and natural-resource impacts.
The economic-ecologic approach can be extended to allow explicit modelling of research effects at the production level. This will enhance our ability to deal with research effects that exhibit a large degree of spatial variability. It will also be possible to make more effective use of conventional biophysical models (e.g., crop growth, land evaluation, and soil-erosion models) to estimate the likely consequences of research.
Key wordsagroecological zones economic GIS maintenance research priority setting production system research efficiency systems approach
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