The quest to improve efficiency on the farm for the producer and ultimately on the plate for the consumer can be a profitable one. In recent decades, there's been a boom in agricultural research investment from the private sector. A team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service found that in 2010, global private-sector investments in research and development of agricultural inputs topped $11 billion--nearly double the $5.6 billion from 1994.
With advancements in biotechnology, stronger intellectual property rights protections, and a growing global marketplace for agricultural advancements, private companies are seeing bigger benefits to investing in agricultural research on their own and in public-private collaborations.
And the results are benefiting farmers in the field.