The beginning of the modernisation of agricultural research in Spain
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The Spanish Government and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (BIRF) signed a cooperation agreement in 1971 with the objective to upgrade the level of agricultural research by: a) restructuring the National Crop Research Institute (INIA) to create commodity oriented National Centers, b) changing research planning through the creation of National Commodity oriented Programs, and c) training of 200 scientists in international high quality laboratories in the priority areas of Research Centers. Total budget of the project was 28,2 million dollars (equivalent today to about 204 million euros), with BIRF supporting 72,7 million dollars as credit. The project successfully accomplished its main objectives and caused an important change in the quality and orientation of agricultural research that had an high impact from scientific and socio economic points of view. This was specially due to the training program, since the other achievements were loosed after the transfer of INIA regional Centers to the Autonomous Communities.