The world regions are sharply divided in terms of their capacity to use science in promoting agricultural productivity in order to achieve food security and reduce poverty and hunger. For every US$100 of agricultural output, developed countries spend US$2.16 on public agricultural research and development (R&D), whereas developing countries spend only US$0.55 (IFPRI, 2008). Total agricultural R&D spending in developing countries increased from US$3.7 billion (1991) to US$4.4 billion (2000), or by 1.6% annually (IFPRI, 2008). This spending was largely driven by Asia, where annual spending increased by 3.3 percent. Today, Asia accounts for 42% of total agricultural R&D spending in developing countries (with China and India accounting for 18 and 10%, respectively). In Africa, agricultural R&D expenditure declined slightly, by 0.4%/year. Although Africa is geographically large, its share in R&D spending is only 13%. Latin America accounts for 33% (with Brazil being responsible for 48% of the region’s spending).
From collection: The Environmental Food Crisis - The Environment's Role in Averting Future Food Crises
Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal