Changing barley fertilization policy in Syria: the role of collaborative policy-oriented research

In 1984, ICARDA and its Syrian partners initiated farming systems research that led to a change in national fertilizer allocation policy. Evidence is assessed on the policy influence of the fertilizer-response research and on the impact of switching to a more inclusive policy that relaxed the government’s probation of fertilizer allocation to barley. Interviews with key informants make a persuasive case for attribution; estimates from economic surplus models are consistent with a high rate of return on investment in the policy-oriented research. This case study provides a contribution to the limited empirical literature on returns to research under policy distortions.