The Pakistan Agricultural Research System: Present Status and Future Agenda

Alarming food supply and demand deficits are projected to the year 2020 and beyond for Pakistan, based on its current low investment/low growth agricultural sector. Evidence suggests that agricultural productivity growth and increases in production may not keep pace with past growth rates. Part of the problem is an underfunded and poorly managed agricultural research system that can not hope to contribute significantly to increasing agricultural productivity now or in the future. The World Bank-assisted Agricultural Research II Project (ARP-II) was initiated to partially overcome some of the funding problems and provide institutional development in the areas of organisation, planning, and management of the research system at both the federal and provincial levels. A National Master Agricultural Research Plan (NMARP) was one of the principal goals of the ARP-II as part of improving research planning and management. The objective of this paper is to review the reasons why the Pakistan agricultural research system needs to be revitalised, review the status and problems of the present agricultural research system, and outline a future agenda for Pakistan’s agricultural research system based on the plan developed for the NMARP.