This paper addresses the problem of priority setting that faces developing country agricultural research, a problem whose relevance has been sharpened by the current context of demands for greater efficiency and targeted impact. A new method for ex ante estimation of the impact of developing each of several alternative proposed technologies is described and illustrated through an example from West Africa. This method is based on the notion of market segmentation, which normally makes intensive use of secondary data-sets that are simply not available for rural areas of developing countries. To circumvent this lack of secondary data, the method adopts a knowledge engineering approach based on the views of an expert panel familiar with the region to be served. Descriptions of proposed technologies are matched with the interests and resources of identified market segments, together with the characteristics of their farming systems and locations, to identify those segments whose members are likely to use the proposed technology. Further development of the method is discussed.
Reece, J.D.; Sumberg, J.; Pommier, L. Matching Technologies with Potential End Users: A Knowledge Engineering Approach for Agricultural Research Management. Journal of Agricultural Economics (2004) 55 (1) 25-40. [DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2004.tb00077.x]