Global spending on food and agricultural research and development (R&D) reached $54.2 billion in 2008 (the latest year for which complete data are available). The United States accounted for roughly one-fifth of this total, spending $11.9 billion that year. Worldwide, public research institutions accounted for nearly two-thirds of total food and agriculture R&D spending, while in the United States, the public sector accounted for roughly 44 percent of total R&D spending. While most public food and agriculture R&D is oriented toward agricultural and natural resources, private-sector research is focused on developing improved inputs for farms (seeds, chemicals, machinery, animal health products, etc.) or for food processing and product development. This chart updates data found in Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide, ERR-130, December 2011.
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