April 26, 2021

“Benefits of Increased Investment in Agriculture Research” Report Released

“Benefits of Increased Investment in Agriculture Research” Report Released

The Farm Journal Foundation (FJF), the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), and the IHS Markit Agribusiness Consulting Group released the Benefits of Increased Investment in Agriculture Research Report. The report highlights the vital importance of public funding for agricultural research and development.

“The U.S. has always been a leader in agricultural innovation, but we’re at risk of losing that advantage by falling behind the rest of the world in research and development,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This report shows the clear need for agricultural research to benefit not only farmers, but our entire food system and every person who eats. Research will unlock the answers to growing more crops even as we face increasingly volatile weather, help to create a more resilient food system supply chain and provide food that’s higher in nutritional value. It’s the golden ticket.”  

The report finds that US public spending on agricultural research and development has stagnated over the last decade, while competitors have accelerated their public funding for agricultural research. Also, the report found that public research spending is vital to fill in gaps left by private investment because private companies primarily focus on a select few high-value opportunities in major crop and livestock categories that can generate profits, leaving other sectors relatively under-explored. The report states 6 areas where public research spending would be beneficial to stakeholders:

  1. Crop breeding

  2. Crop protection

  3. Animal health

  4. Animal disease and foodborne illnesses

  5. Climate research

  6. Food and agricultural supply chains

“COVID-19 should be a wake-up call that more public research funding is needed to address unexpected shocks,” said Tricia Beal, CEO of FJF. “The pandemic created huge challenges for agricultural supply chains around the world. It also showed just how quickly pathogens can spread. Increased public support for agricultural research is crucial for finding solutions to make our entire food system more resilient.”

Read the report here.