Executive Summary Oilseeds research was one of the major components of Technology Mission on Oilseeds (TMO), which resulted into attaining self-sufficiency during late 80s and early 90s in oilseed production. In this context, the mission is referred to be a big success. What is unknown is the extent and kinds of contribution of research in overall increase in oilseed production and productivity. The present study was taken with this as a major objective to assess the economic impact (return on investment) of oilseeds research in the country during 1980-81 to 1999-00. The total factor productivity (TFP) approach was used to estimate the growth accounting parameters of TFP and marginal internal rates of return of investment on oilseeds research were determined. The growth in TFP of oilseeds indicates increase in output not counted for increase in input. This increase is attributable to improvement in the efficiency and the technical change. Based on availability of data, the analysis has been done for six major annual edible oil crops namely rapeseed & mustard, groundnut, soybean, sunflower, sesame and safflower. The results, in addition to clearly quantifying the impact of oilseeds research, also provide important lessons for research and extension policy and for formulation of future research priorities. The main findings of the study are summarised as below: 1. The investment on oilseeds research increased in both current and real prices during the last two decades at compound growth rate of 6.4 %, which was higher than the growth rate in area and production of oilseeds and hence indicating improvement in research intensity. 2. The increase in growth rate of investment in one oilseed crop was accompanied by decrease in investment in another crop in the same period reflecting reallocation approach followed in research resource allocation in oilseeds research. 3. Research investment on oilseed crops other than six edible oil crops mentioned above, grew comparably at a higher rate to meet different kinds of demand for these crops in the total oilseed complex. 4. The allocations in total oilseeds research from agencies other than ICAR decreased, which is not a healthy development from the point of view of infusing dynamism in research. The allocations under the AP Cess fund scheme picked slightly after drastic decrease and registered a compound growth rate of five per cent during last two decades. The higher budget allocation would develop capabilities to foster public- public and public-private partnership to strengthen oilseeds research. 5. Among oilseed crops, investment preference changed from groundnut to rapeseed & mustard, the later accounting for one-fourth of the total research investment. The allocations have moved in favor of rapeseed & mustard and sesame. 6. The shares of research investment of three crops namely rapeseed & mustard, groundnut and soybean were less than their contribution to total VOP and hence are the future priorities to make efficient allocations. The research investment particularly on groundnut should be doubled to maintain parity with its contribution (congruence approach). 7. The results on growth rate and trends in TFP of oilseed crops shows that technical change in majority of the oilseeds have either stagnated or declined in the past twenty years except in rapeseed and mustard. The TFP of rapeseed and mustard grew at significant rate while it was almost stagnated for groundnut, sunflower and soybean. The TFP declined significantly for sesame and safflower. 8. The annual rates of growth of TFP for rapeseed and mustard were observed 2.41% while it was 0.39% and 0.45% for groundnut and sunflower. The rate of decline in TFP of soybean was –0.06% while it decreased at the rate of -1.09% and –1.92% for sesame and safflower, respectively. 9. Among states, TFP grew for both the crop studied from Rajasthan while it grew only in one oilseed crop in UP, Maharastra and MP and it was negative in all the oilseed crops studied in Karnataka and Gujarat. The states with growing productivity are the potential areas for research emphasis. 10. The TFP were regressed against explanatory variables related with research stock, infrastructure, price parity with the competing crop, distribution of certified seed or irrigation, to find out the contribution of these variables to the growth of TFP. It was found that research stock explained growth in TFP to the extent of 57% in rapeseed and mustard, 8% in groundnut, 85% in soybean and 3% in sunflower. Other variables like infrastructure and price parity were having negative contribution and appear to be counter productive contrary to the findings of earlier studies. 11. The economic rates of return per annum estimated on the basis of above results, were very high to the one rupee additional invested on oilseeds research. It is called marginal internal rate of return (MIRR) in economic terms. It was 177% in rapeseed & mustard and 119% in soybean. In groundnut and sunflower, the economic rates of return were 77% and 62%, respectively. The overall economic returns were found to be higher in oilseed crops in comparison to other crops or group of crops. 12. The economic returns to research investment was observed positive and higher even for those oilseed crops, which were having almost stagnated TFP. This leads to conclude that investment on oilseeds research have been the rescuing factor, otherwise, TFP in those crops would have further declined. 13. The sensitivity analysis was carried to overcome the probability of error in estimation of oilseeds research investment and oilseeds production due to poor database. The economic rates of return always remained higher than hundred percent in rapeseed & mustard and soybean, and higher than fifty per cent in groundnut and sunflower, even in the worse case of underestimation of research investment and overestimation of production. 14. The study makes strong recommendation for future investment on oilseeds research in the prevailing economic scenario of deficit production and very high import. The outcomes of oilseeds research will further improve with adequate policy and infrastructural supports to oilseeds.