Socioeconomics and policy research is becoming an integral part of agricultural research projects and programs in Nepal. The concepts, framework and methodological tools and techniques for socioeconomic and policy research are derived from social science disciplines. Social science disciplines help in bringing human dimension and issues in the research process and cover a wide range of research issues ranging from identification of research problems to search for solutions to complex interdisciplinary problems and ex post evaluation of research benefits. Social science can contribute critically in the analysis and conduction of research in crosscutting themes such as gender issues, poverty, food security and natural resource management. They provide broad framework, research methods and tools for scarce resource allocations, identification of research agenda, research priority setting, adoption and impact assessment studies and can play important role by identifying policy gaps and constraints to technology development, uptake and scaling-up. Social science disciplines that are important in agricultural research are economics, sociology, anthropology, social geography and political sciences. The principle clients who directly use socioeconomic information are (i) biological and physical scientists (ii) research managers (iii) extension personnel, (iv) public and private sector institutions affecting technology utilization such as input supply, credit, product marketing (v) farmers, CBOs and I/NGOS (vi) policy makers.
NARC has recently established National Agricultural Policy Research Centre (NAPRC) NARC building, Khumaltar to focus, consolidate and strengthen its socioeconomics and policy research activities and programmes. The division was approved by the council meeting of NARC in April 29, 2004 and it has been made functional with a new office in Khumaltar in June 20, 2005. The main objectives of the NAPRC are:
- Conduct demand driven socio-economics, agricultural marketing and policy research and analysis in agriculture
- Support NARC research planning in prioritizing research programs / projects and allocating resources in priority sectors based on problems, priorities and needs.
- Conduct ex-post studies to evaluate uptake, adoption and impact of agricultural research
- Make contribution to the formation of a nation’s agricultural research policy and strategy.
The establishment of Natinal Agricultural Policy Research Centre is a good step in NARC’s ability to address socioeconomic and agricultural policy research capacity in the changing scenario, particularly in the changing global and local socio-economic context and policy shifts in agricultural R & D in the country. By encompassing policy, trade, marketing and socio-economics as envisaged in new NARC strategic plan [Output 2], NARC aims to broaden its research perspective to meet the increasing demands and response of priority clients ( farmers, rural poor and private agro entrepreneurs) and ensure increased likelihood of impact to welfare of rural poor.
The main responsibility of this division is to lead, coordinate and implement a substantive work programmes on NARC socioeconomics and policy research and analysis in agriculture. It aims to facilitate work through network of social scientist scattered in different NARC research Centres, Programmes, Directorate of Agricultural Research (DoAR) and Agriculture Research Stations (ARS). The centre is supporting and providing social science inputs and expertise to NARC DoAR/ARS, commodity programs and disciplinary centre in research design, survey tools, questionnaire development and leadership in conducting socioeconomic and policy studies.
Currently, there are about 22 officers level social science researchers located in NARC central Divisions and Regional Research Stations (with 11 scientists and 11 technical officers). Among them, 6 senior research officers are based in cenre at Khumaltar. Current research activities and research areas include: technology adoption, uptake and diffusion studies, research impact and evaluation of agricultural programs, participatory technology development (PTD) and innovation models, gender and social inclusion studies, marketing of high value crops and commodities, analysis of agricultural research policies and strategies, poverty and livelihood assessments, socioeconomic studies on conservation of agricultural biodiversity, economic valuation of genetic resources, farmers rights, intellectual property rights and farmers’ empowerment and WTO and its effects in agriculture in Nepal.
- Dr Krishna Prasad Timisina, Senior Scientist-3 (Agricultural Economics)/Chief
- Mr Sudeep Gautam, Senior Technical Officer (Socio Economics)
- Mrs Bimala Sharma, Senior Technical Officer (Socio Economics)
- Mr Bibek Sapkota, Scientist (S-1)
- Mr. Dinesh Babu Thapa Magar, Scientist (S-1)
- Mr. Surya Prasad Adhikari, Scientist (S-1)
- Mr. Sanjeeb Subedi, Scientist (S-1)
- Ms. Meena Kharel, Scientist (S-1)
National Agricultural Policy Research Policy Centre
Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal
PO Box 3605, Kathmandu
Tel: 977-1-5540818 Fax: 977-1-5521197