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

by Keith Fuglie, Paul Heisey, John King, Carl E. Pray, Kelly Day-Rubenstein, David Schimmelpfennig, Sun Ling Wang, and Rupa Karmarkar-Deshmukh

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-130) 147 pp, December 2011

Cover image for err130 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 study examines global R&D spending by private industry in seven agricultural input sectors, food manufacturing, and biofuel and describes the changing structure of these industries. 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: Tuesday, August 13, 2013

For more information contact: Keith Fuglie, Paul Heisey, John King, Carl E. Pray, Kelly Day-Rubenstein, David Schimmelpfennig, Sun Ling Wang, and Rupa Karmarkar-Deshmukh

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