Sound science and technology (S&T) policies require access to up-to-date and reliable S&T investment data. As agriculture and the science that supports it become ever more international in orientation, tracking the global investments in agricultural R&D and related institutional arrangements becomes not only increasingly complex but also increasingly necessary.

The ASTI initiative compiles, processes, and makes available internationally comparable data on institutional developments and investments in agricultural R&D worldwide, and analyzes and reports on these trends in the form of occasional policy digests for research policy formulation and priority setting purposes. The project involves a large amount of original and ongoing survey work focused on developing countries, but also maintains access to relevant data for developed countries. The activities are led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and involve collaborative alliances with a large number of national and regional R&D agencies, as well as international institutions.