National Agricultural Research System

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The National Agricultural Research System of India is one of the largest in the world, with over 30,000 highly qualified scientists. The Central and State Governments provide most of the funds. The private sector in recent years has started to invest in agricultural research, mainly in seed improvement and production. Its share is expected to increase further with the existing and emerging congenial public policies, including appreciation for Intellectual Property Protection. Although the history of agricultural research in India goes back to the early years of the century, much of the present growth of the system has taken place in the past four decades. A significant part of it can be traced to the reorganization of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in 1966 when, as the main executive agency, it was given responsibility and considerable autonomy to plan and coordinate research and to be the main funding body. ICAR has been described as the research arm of the Ministry of Agriculture, performing a variety of functions, including determination of national research policies and priorities, linking them with the government's development objectives, and establishing and managing a large network of research institutes and centers (Fig. 3.1).

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