National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS)

Around early 1960s, most of the developing countries had to face acute shortage of foodgrains. They realized that the systems of agricultural research and extension, that they had inherited from the colonial powers, were ineffective and inadequate to provide required technologies for increasing for increasing food production. Hence, many of the developing nations started making efforts to invest and build their agricultural research, mostly in the 1960s and 1970s, had their profound impact on agricultural production stimulated by the strengthening and re-organization o fagricultural research and education which enhanced the process of evolution of National Agricultural Research Systems (Asopa and Beye, 1997), especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Organization of NARS

Developing Countries

The core of NARS consists of the organizations and institutions created and funded by Government or both. Three models for organization of NARS have evolved over the time.

  • The Agricultural Research Council Model (ARC)
  • The National Reserach Institute Model (NRI)
  • The Agricultural University Model

The ARC model represents a variant of an autonomous research organization, playing the role of policy making, managing or administering, coordinating and funding. The distinguishing feature of this model is the full managerial responsibility and reedom from bureaucracy given to scientists. Examples are the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

In Latin American countries, agricultural research is, in general, nationally organized and provincial governments have no role. Autonomous and semi-autonomous institutions organized on the pattern of private enterprises have become the instruments of conducting research. The examples are National Institute of Agriculture (INTA), Argentina; National Institute of Agriculture (INIA), Chile; etc. The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) combines the good features of Asian ARCs and the Latin American autonomous NRIs.

In the Agricultural University (SAU) model, especially in Asia, agricultural research and education is organized under an autonomous agricultural university established on the pattern of the Land Grant Universities of USA. The State Agricultural Universitites of India, Pakistan and the Philippines are based on this model. They are autonomous organizations with state-wide responsibility for agricultural research, education and extension education.

More details can be obtained from hard copy of “National Agricultural Research Systems in the Asia-Pacific Region -A Perspective” from FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand, e-mail: or fax to (66-2) 629-2145.

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