Public investment in agricultural research is vital for addressing the areas that can be ignored by the private sector. A recent report from American Farm Bureau Federation and the Farm Journal Foundation details the many societal benefits gained through publicly funding research. Vice President of IHS Markit Agribusiness Consulting Group, Joe Somers said that private funding plays an important role, but public funding is essential for more holistic research efforts.
“It also benefits because it provides research on minor crops that do not offer a large enough potential market to attract private investment. It also helps meet broader social, environmental, health, and sustainability goals that benefit both society at large and farmers,” Somers noted. “Private companies primarily focus on select value opportunities in major crop and livestock categories that can generate profits, leaving other areas underexplored. Companies also have less incentive to research areas that benefit society broadly but are difficult to capture private returns.”
Listen to the radio report below.