Public investments in agriculture in Africa can have profound effects on productivity in the sector. It is therefore important to understand how budgetary allocation decisions are made. For example, what are the reasons for persistent underinvestment in agricultural research on the African continent? A mere reference to ignorance of policymakers about the demonstrated contributions of agricultural R&D is not only inadequate by way of an explanation, but likely plain wrong in most cases. Acemoglu (2012) eloquently discusses the "ignorance hypothesis" as an explanation for bad policies in developing countries. It is critical to determine how various forces, incentive structures, and characteristics of different actors, as well as political and economic institutions, shape the public resource allocation process.