Date of Award
Master of Science
Colombia seems to be aligned with the normal path of economic transformation; as the share of agriculture has decreased, the non-agricultural sector has become the dominant sector in the economy. In that way, it is expected that the agricultural sector should have increased its productivity; however, the Colombian agricultural performance has lagged compared with other Latin American countries. Considering that research and development (R&D) have been widely accepted as crucial factors boosting agricultural productivity and few studies have been carried out in Colombia, this paper analyzes the impact of agricultural R&D spending and other production factors on agricultural output, labor, and land productivity in Colombia for the period 1981-2016. This analysis using static and dynamic models shows that public expenditures in agricultural R&D seem to have a positive effect on agricultural output and labor productivity. However, the downward trend in R&D spending could jeopardize the Colombian agricultural performance in the long run. Improvements in human capital, availability of agricultural technology, and physical and institutional infrastructure should also be taken into account to accelerate productivity. Consequently, the involvement of the state addressing these elements is critically important for the agricultural transformation in Colombia.
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