Paulo Correa and Christine Schmidt recently published, “Public Research Organizations and Agricultural Development in Brazil: How Did Embrapa Get It Right?” This Economic Premise from The World Bank is the perfect primer on Embrapa and its pivotal role in developing the appropriate agricultural technologies for the Center-West’s booming agricultural production during the last several decades.
Correa and Schmidt argue that EMBRAPA’s success stems from four critical factors:
1. Adequate levels of public funding;
2. Sustained investment in human capital;
3. International collaboration and research excellence; and
4. A mission orientation and IPR [intellectual property rights] policy.
Oveall, the authors conclude that Embrapa has been very successful because its research foci have treated “practical problems of agriculture” which allowed the agency to quickly deploy new technologies and innovations to Brazilian farmers.
However, much of author’s research is based on identifying the factors for success in the period from its founding in 1973 to 2004. Therefore, Correa and Schmidt leave the reader guessing about the more recent period and whether more recent productivity gains are in some way related to Embrapa’s work or driven by new factors associated with the private sector.
For those interested in understanding EMBRAPA and its role in pushing Brazilian agriculture to superpower status, this briefing paper is essential reading.
Correa, Paulo and Christiane Schmidt.
“Public Research Organizations and Agricultural Development in Brazil: How Did Embrapa Get It Right?”
The World Bank. Economic Premise. Number 145. June 2014.