Evaluating Agricultural Research and Extension in Tanzania: the Production Function Approach
IMPACT OF SCIENCE ON AFRICAN AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY
Sokoine University of Agriculture
Agricultural research in Tanzania began in 1923 on sorghum and cotton. Since then, the number of research stations and institutions involved in agricultural research has increased. However, there are very few evaluations of the performance of agricultural research. This study uses the production function approach to assess the efficiency of investments in agricultural research and extension from 1971 to 1992. Results of the regression analysis showed that the total factor productivity for crop production in Tanzania is responsive to expenditures on research while it is not responsive to expenditure on agricultural extension. The model also shows that total factor productivity for crop production was not significantly responsive to the literacy rate of farmers, rainfall and lagged export earnings. The study concludes that since the marginal rate of return of investment in agricultural research is greater than the social rate of return, continued funding of agricultural research by both government and private sector is encouraged. The marginal rate of return was found to be low. This calls for efforts to improve extension and enhance the linkages between agricultural research and extension.