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Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide: Executive Summary

by Keith Fuglie, Paul Heisey, John King, Kelly Day-Rubenstein, David Schimmelpfennig, and Sun Ling Wang

Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-90) 34 pp, December 2011

Cover image Meeting growing global demand for food, fiber, and biofuel requires robust investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) from both public and private sectors. This report highlights the major findings of a study examining global R&D spending by private industry in seven agricultural input sectors, food manufacturing, and biofuel and describes the changing structure of these industries. For the full report, see Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide, ERR-130. In 2007 (the latest year for which comprehensive estimates are available), the private sector spent $19.7 billion on food and agricultural research (56 percent in food manufacturing and 44 percent in agricultural input sectors) and accounted for about half of total public and private spending on food and agricultural R&D in high-income countries. In R&D related to biofuel, annual private-sector investments are estimated to have reached $1.47 billion worldwide by 2009. Incentives to invest in R&D are influenced by market structure and other factors. Agricultural input industries have undergone significant structural change over the past two decades, with industry concentration on the rise. A relatively small number of large, multinational firms with global R&D and marketing networks account for most R&D in each input industry. Rising market concentration has not generally been associated with increased R&D investment as a percentage of industry sales.

Keywords: Agricultural biotechnology, agricultural chemicals, agricultural inputs, animal breeding, animal health, biofuel, crop breeding, crop protection, farm machinery, fertilizers, Herfindahl index, globalization, market share, market structure

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Last updated: Saturday, May 26, 2012

For more information contact: Keith Fuglie, Paul Heisey, John King, Kelly Day-Rubenstein, David Schimmelpfennig, and Sun Ling Wang

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