Southeast Asia made considerable progress in building and strengthening its agricultural R&D capacity during 2000–2017. All of the region’s countries reported higher numbers of agricultural researchers, improvements in their average qualification levels, and higher shares of women participating in agricultural R&D.

This paper estimates required investment and its allocation among different regions to maximize agricultural output gains and poverty reduction. The analysis uses a social welfare function to simulate the optimal allocation of research and development (R&D) investment across developing regions to maximize agricultural growth or to maximize poverty reduction at the global level.