The following main tasks characterize the institute's work:
- Research into agricultural developments in Central and Eastern Europe
- Training scholars
- Acting as a forum for the exchange of scientific information
IAMO scientifically investigates the development of the agricultural and food sectors in Central and East European countries, with particular emphasis placed on changes caused by transition. The reorganization of the agricultural and food sectors has required institutional and national economic reforms, liberalization of the markets, and adaptations at an individual operational level. IAMO analyzes the various interactions of these aspects and draws economic, agricultural and political conclusions from its research, which is intended to aid in the speedy progress of transition. To develop an orientation guide and aid decision-makers in the agricultural and food economy sector, as well as the respective political decision-makers in the CEECs, alternative action strategies have to be developed and their consequences presented. This first requires the systematic utilization of information and statistical data from Central and Eastern Europe. Second, the data is evaluated by taking into account economic theories, and quantitative analyses based on these theories, to elaborate political recommendations. At present, the external institutional environment is increasingly included in analysis.
To realise these research assignments, IAMO endeavours to increase scientific cooperation with economic and agricultural economic research establishments in Central and East European countries, as well as in Germany, Western Europe and the USA. For this reason the institute promotes the development of networks within the academic community. Furthermore, IAMO is a contact for anyone dealing with research into agricultural development in Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC).
Apart from this, IAMO, in cooperation with the agricultural faculty of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), strives to improve academic training in the CEEC. Since 2002, both institutions have organised further education courses in agricultural economics for graduates of selected East European countries.