The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 291–300 | Cite as

Public–Private Partnerships in International Agricultural Research: An Analysis of Constraints



Public–private partnerships are a potentially important means of conducting pro-poor agricultural research in many developing countries. Yet within the international agricultural research sector, there are few examples of successful collaboration that have contributed to food security, poverty reduction or agricultural development. This study hypothesizes that partnerships between public research agencies and private, multinational firms are constrained by fundamentally different incentive structures; prohibitive costs, both direct and indirect; mutually negative perceptions between the sectors; and high levels of competition and risk associated with valuable assets and resources. Based on a survey of key stakeholders and a review of the literature, findings suggest that the primary impediments to partnership are perceptions, competition and risk, while issues of costs and conflicting incentives are secondary. These findings suggest that investment in innovative organizational mechanisms and supportive public policies could facilitate more, and more successful, public–private partnerships in pro-poor agricultural research.


agricultural development research and development public-private partnership 

JEL Classification

L33 O3 Q16 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Food Policy Research InstituteAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.International Food Policy Research InstituteWashingtonUSA

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