Investment on wheat research and its effect: A case of Nepal

K.P. Timsina1, S. Gairhe2, P. Koirala3, J. Shrestha4

1Socioeconomics and Agricultural Policy Research Division, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal
2Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Singhdurbar Plaza, Kathmandu, Nepal
3Institute for Integrated Development Studies, Kathmandu, Nepal
4Nepal Agricultural Research Council, National Commercial Agriculture Research Program, Pakhribas, Dhankuta, Nepal

(Manuscript received 5 October 2018; accepted for publication 28 February 2019)

Abstract. Although the agriculture sector markedly contributes to the Nepalese economy, very little is known about the government’s investments in agricultural research activities and how these investments have impacted the sector. In this study, we picked a case of wheat crop as it is the third largest crop of Nepal in terms of total annual production. We took government’s annual wheat research investments of Nepal from Fiscal year 2005 to 2016 to analyze the effects of investment on wheat research based on the availability of data. We used compound growth rate, averages, trend line, and bar diagram to present the data and interpret the results. Results revealed that the share of operational budget was lower than supposed to be allocated for the development of wheat research. The pace of increment of wheat production and productivity were observed due to improved wheat investment and technologies. Result shows the negligible spillover effect from neighboring countries in wheat production. Even though the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) has fulfilled source seed target by producing a surplus, private sectors should involve proactively in coordination with NARC to meet the projected demand of wheat seed in national seed vision. The huge gap was observed between yield potential and average national productivity. To achieve greater impact of wheat research in Nepal, it is necessary to bridge the gap by awareness program, making the availability of improved seed with an improved package of practices.