Agricultural research in Southeast Asia: A cross-country analysis of resource allocation, performance, and impact on productivity

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. In contrast, regional agricultural research spending remained stagnant, despite considerable growth in agricultural output over time. As a result, Southeast Asia’s agricultural research intensity—that is, agricultural research spending as a share of agricultural GDP—steadily declined from 0.50 percent in 2000 to just 0.33 percent in 2017. Although the extent of underinvestment in agricultural research differs across countries, all Southeast Asian countries invested below the levels deemed attainable based on the analysis summarized in this report.