We transform the research system from supply-oriented to demand based. Rather than asking the scientists what they are researching for, we will ask our agricultural stakeholder every year what issues we should resolve through research. The PARB is setting up a Research Planning Cell that will continuously consult with agriculture stakeholders, bring emerging issues for agriculture research, and use scientific methodologies to prioritize these issues. Shifting from scientists to stakeholders for setting up research strategies is a big change, which will bring growth by resolving high priority problems in agriculture sector.
Multi-disciplinary and Multi-institute
Our Coordination Cell will announce the issues and challenges the scientists to come forward to propose research to resolve these issues. As the challenge is to resolve the issues, the proposed projects must be multi-disciplinary and multi-institute. In this way, we want to break the wall built around research institute by encouraging cross-institute cooperation.
The Coordination Cell will set up anonymous Technical Working groups who will evaluate these proposals and judge the competency of the team proposing the research. The projects will be awarded based on competency of the proposal and the professional team. Special marks will be given for those teams which is multi-disciplinary and multi-institutes. The project will also include activities to promote the research results to stakeholders.
Incentives to Researchers
Each scientist in the team will have clear activity, and budget will be assigned for each activity. Depending upon the delivery of output (i.e., solving the issue), each scientist will receive a fixed proportion of the cost handled as a personnel reward.
Monitoring and Evaluation
We have also set up a Monitoring and Evaluation Cell which will oversee the progress of the project and suggest measures to overcome problems in its implementation. It will also analyze the impact of the farmers on various stakeholders.
Import of Technologies
PARB will also facilitate to import of technologies and materials, and adapt these technologies to the local environments. Our main strategy will be to overcome the shortage of germplasm the research system is starving with now-a-days. Moreover, the import of parental lines, genes, and machinery models will be funded. During the short-term training visits, the scientists will be encouraged to import relevant technologies and materials. Funds will also be allocated for this purpose.
We strongly feel that lack of resources as well as bureaucratic procedures involved in getting clearance for the scientists to go abroad has limited the collaboration of our scientists with international agriculture research centers and advance laboratories. We will link each project with these centers of excellence in agriculture research and facilitate our scientists to go short-term training in these centers. Reasonable funds will be allocated for foreign training in each project wherever it is appropriate.
Involvement of Private Stakeholders
We should realize that we cannot resolve all the problems facing to agriculture sector through research in the public sector. Our main strategy will be to involve the private sector as much as possible in setting up research priorities and conducting research. The board of directors of PARB consists of farmers, agricultural business people, politicians, bureaucrats along with research professional who will guide us in setting research priorities. I would like to point out here that the research to formulate solution of the problem can be suggested by any provincial and federal public sector institute, and/or private sector with in the county, or abroad.
Funding to Corporate Companies
We are setting up Research and Development Companies in major crops which will perform in corporate mode and improve the collaboration with the private sector. The independent board of directors of these bodies will set up research priorities of these companies and each will be autonomous in managing their resources. Initially, corporate companies in rice, cotton, sugarcane, citrus, and mango have been established. These corporate will compete or research funds from PARB and they will be free to get additional funds from any other sources as well.