عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: Investing in agricultural research is one of the main factors in increasing agricultural productivity, which has significant effects on economic growth, poverty alleviation, and food security. Despite the role of agricultural research, the evidence shows that the public sector agricultural research systems, especially in developing countries, have shortage of resources over recent decades and faced the challenge of financing the agricultural research projects. In such circumstances, documenting the benefits of agricultural research is a primary requirement for an appropriate level of public support. In this research, the economic impact assessment of research activities in Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center of Guilan province in Iran was examined.
Materials and Methods: In the first place, the economic surplus analysis approach was used to evaluate the economic impact of the research activities of the investigated center. This approach uses a market framework in which the achievement of research (knowledge or technology) causes a shift in the supply curve, so that the economic benefits as a surplus accrued to producers and consumers, resulting from changes in price and quantity (value) product are calculated; therefore, it becomes possible to determine the return on investment in a research by calculating the increase in the economic surplus (welfare) of producers and consumers during the application of its achievements.
Results and Discussion: Based on the findings of the research, the internal rate of return of the research activities of the Guilan center was 49 percent on average, which is lower than the rate of 81.3 percent reported by some studies (eg Alston et al., 2010); but it is in line with the reported results of some other studies (eg Fuglie and Heisey, 2007) that recorded the major returns of the research under review between 20 and 60 percent. The average benefit-cost ratio of the investigated research activities of Guilan center was 6.7 and its minimum and maximum were 0 and 52, respectively. In other words, in this research center, some research projects lacked efficiency and economic benefits. The Net Present Value (NPV) of the benefits of the investigated research activities of the Guilan center during the acceptance period of their findings amounted to 853611025002 IRI rials. The research departments of animal science, agriculture and horticulture, plant protection, technical and engineering, and soil and water with the average benefit-cost ratios of 11.4, 8.5, 5.1, 3.3 and 3.1, respectively, had the highest to lowest returns and appeared to be economic usefulness and their research activities were generally justified and profitable. The average economic return or cost-benefit ratio of research departments was calculated as 6.7, indicating that with each IRI rial allocated to research activities, an average of 6.7 IRI rials of efficiency and economic effectiveness would be achieved; considering the global average obtained by the former mentioned study (Alston et al., 2010) of $ 32, it seemed to be underestimated.
Conclusions: In general, the research activities of Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center of Guilan province have the economic return and effectiveness, but these are relatively less than the average in the world.