This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.
A Comprehensive Overview of investments and Human Resource Capacity in African Agricultural Research.
Nienke Beintema and Gert-Jan Stads
International Food Policy Research Institute.
These findings—along with datasets, analysis, country factsheets, and online tools for country comparison, graphing, and benchmarking—have been just released online and summarized in a newly released ASTI Synthesis Report,
The data cover key indicators on agricultural research investments, human resource capacity, and research outputs in the region. Other highlights include:
- As of 2014, half the region’s PhD-qualified agricultural researchers were in their 50s and 60s, thus reaching retirement age. Training and capacity building is needed to avoid capacity gaps that could jeopardize future research outputs.
- Compared to other regions around the world, agricultural research in Africa remains highly dependent on volatile donor funding. National-level decision makers must diversify funding sources.
- New ASTI analysis of national spending targets based on characteristics of each country’s economy and agricultural sector show a considerable gap between what countries are—and realistically could be—spending on agricultural research.
The report concludes by outlining a number of policy measures that SSA governments can undertake to address the various challenges related to agricultural research funding, human capacity, outputs, infrastructure, and institutional structure.