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Agricultural R&D in Sub-Saharan Africa: Investment and capacity challenges

Agricultural R&D in Sub-Saharan Africa: Investment and capacity challenges



By Gert-Jan Stads, ASTI program coordinator, International Food Policy Research Institute. ...

By Gert-Jan Stads, ASTI program coordinator, International Food Policy Research Institute.
Presented at the Development Partners Business Meeting on CAADP
Brussels | 5–6 February 2013



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  • Era of stagnation during the 1980s and 1990s
  • Ratios don’t take into account the policy and institutional environment within which agricultural R&D takes placeRatios don’t take into account the influx of foreign technologiesIncreased ratios don’t always reflect increased agricultural R&D spending; they can also reflect declining or stagnating agricultural output
  • - Investment levels in most SSA countries are below the levels required to sustain agricultural R&D needs-Countries with increased R&D spending directed most of the funds toward salary increases and the rehabilitation of infrastructure and equipment.
  • Mitigating the effects of any single donor’s abrupt change in aid disbursement is crucial, highlighting the need for greater funding diversification
  • The regional community has an important role to play in this regard, particularly when it comes to small countries with limited or nonexistent MSc or PhD training opportunities.

Agricultural R&D in Sub-Saharan Africa: Investment and capacity challenges Agricultural R&D in Sub-Saharan Africa: Investment and capacity challenges Presentation Transcript

  • Agricultural R&D in Sub-Saharan Africa:Investment and capacity challengesGert-Jan StadsASTI program coordinator | International Food Policy Research InstituteDevelopment Partners Business Meeting on CAADPBrussels | 5–6 February 2013
  • Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI)• Institutional, investment andstaffing data on agricultural R&D:– Focus on developing countries– Primary data collection• Large network of national,regional and internationalpartners; facilitated by IFPRI• Aim is to provide:– Trends over time at agency, country,regional and global levels– Comparisons across institutes,countries and regions
  • ASTI Indicators and OutputsASTI outputs:• Country notes• Regional and subregional reports• Downloadable datasets• Analytical assessments• Seminars, presentations• Media outreach• ASTI website (www.asti.cgiar.org)ASTI indicators:• Institutional arrangements• R&D spending by cost category• Funding sources• R&D staff by degree, gender, and age• R&D focus by commodity and thematic area
  • Global Public Agricultural R&D Spending, 2008
  • Global Public Agricultural R&D Spending, 2008
  • Global Private Agricultural R&D Spending• Most private-sector R&D was undertaken by companies inOECD countries;• Evidence suggests significant growth in large middle-incomecountries such as China and India
  • CGIAR Spending, 1981-2011After more than a decade of stagnation, R&D spendingby the CGIAR has accelerated since 2006Inbilliondollars
  • ASTI’s Findings in Sub-Saharan Africa• Investment Trends• Human Capacity Trends• Institutional Developments• Future Directions to Address Current Challenges
  • ASTI activities in Africa• 2009/10 data collection round:– In close collaboration with SROs andnational focal points– Coverage: 500 government , higher-education, and nonprofit agencies in32 countries• 2012/13 data collection round:– Expansion in number of countries andindicators– Analytical expansion– Transformation to more frequent anddecentralized data monitoring andanalysis system– Also initiated surveys in North Africa
  • Public agricultural R&D Spending in SSA, 2008• In 2008, spendingtotaled $1.7 billion (in2005 PPP prices)• Total includes salaries,operating costs, andcapital investments• Total includes R&D oncrops, livestock,forestry, fisheries,postharvest, etc.• Nigeria, South Africa,and Kenya combinedaccounted for half theregion’s agriculturalR&D spending
  •$)• 22% growth in 2001–08• Growth driven by just afew countries• Growth largely result ofincreased governmentcommitment to boostsalaries and restoreneglected infrastructure• Continent-wide growthmasks severe declines inmany smaller countriesSSA’s long-term spending, 1971–2008
  • Investment challenge: Uneven growth• 2001–08 marked by spending decline in 13 countries (7of which in francophone West Africa); for some declinebegan in 1990s
  • Investment challenge: Underinvestment• Common target: Allocation of at least 1% of GDP to R&D• In 2008, Africa spent $0.61 for every $100 of AgGDP onagricultural R&D• Caution: Intensity ratios should neither be used as the solemeasure of AgR&D spending, nor as a target to be reached
  • Investment challenge: Volatility010203040024681981 1984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008Billion2005CFAfrancsBurkinaFasoMillion2005PPPdollars09182635024681981 1984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008Billion2005CFAfrancsNigerMillion2005PPPdollars0. 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007Billion2005CFAfrancsGabonMillion2005PPPdollars0831662493324150. 1984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008Billion2005randSouth Africa Million2005PPPdollars
  • Investment challenge: Volatility• Annual agricultural R&D spending in Africa has beenconsiderably more volatile than in other developing regions• Volatility is found to be more pronounced in donor-dependent low-income countries• Donor and development bank funding is generally short-term and ad-hoc (and nearly 3 times more volatile thangovernment funding)
  • Donor2008
  • 020406080100GuineaEritreaUgandaMadagascarBurkinaFasoNigerMaliBeninTanzaniaBurundiSenegalMauritaniaKenyaGambiaTogoZambiaCôtedIvoireNamibiaGhanaSouthAfricaBotswanaMauritiusShareintotalfunding,2001-08(%)Investment challenge: Donor dependencyShare of donorfunding as a %of totalagriculturalR&D funding,2001–08Range betweenhighest andlowest annualshare of donorfunding in totalagriculturalR&D funding,2001–08
  • Public agricultural R&D staff in SSA, 2008• More than 12,000FTE researchers in2008• Total includesgovernment, highereducation, nonprofitsectors• 4 countries withNARS > 1,000 FTEs• 9 countries withNARS < 100 FTEs
  • Agricultural researchers, 1981–2008• 20% growth incapacity since2000• Includes PhD,MSc, BSc holders• Increased role ofuniversities(Nigeria, Sudan)• Relaxation ofrecruitmentrestrictions(Kenya, Nigeria)• However, manynew recruits areBSc holders02,0004,0006,0008,00010,00012,00014,0001981 1984 1987 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008Full-timeequivalentresearchstaff
  • • Striking thatmany WestAfrican countriesmaintain largepool of PhDsdespite recentdeclines in overallcapacity andinvestment levels• These high sharesstem in large partfrom trainingprogramsconducted duringthe 1990s (andearlier), fundedthrough bilateralor World Bankprojects
  • Africa’s human capacity challenges• Many countries face rapidly aging pools of scientists dueto public sector recruitment restrictions• Large influx of young BSc-qualified scientists after yearsof recruitment restrictions in some countries• High staff turnover / brain drain: Many researchers haveleft agencies due to low salaries and conditions of service• Limited in-country postgraduate training opportunities• Female scientists severely underrepresented (22% in2008)• Small countries lack required critical mass of agriculturalR&D capacity
  • Changing composition of agricultural R&D82% 77% 73%15% 20% 24%0204060801001991 2001 2008Higher educationNonprofitGovernmentShareofFTEresaerchers(%)
  • Investment /capacity challenge: FragmentationIndicators32 Africancountries(2008)Brazil(2006)China(2007)India(2009)US(2008)Number of public agriculturalresearch agencies 353 130 1,105 131 51Number of public agriculturalresearchers (FTEs) 12,120 5,376 70,000 11,217 9,965Annual public spending onagricultural R&D (million2005 PPP dollars) 1,741 1,307 3,626 2,276 4,825Researchers / agency 34.3 41.4 63.3 85.6 195.4Annual spending / agency 4.9 10.1 3.3 17.4 94.6
  • Private Sector Involvement in Agricultural R&D• ASTI/Rutgers study in Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and Zambia• Private R&D in Africa remains limited (but is on the increase)• Sources of innovation from private sector: 1/3 own R&D, 10%public R&D, >50% imported• New released cultivars primarily from private sector in SouthAfrica, Tanzania, and Zambia; from public sector in Kenya andSenegal• More enabling environment for private agricultural R&Dneeded (admin procedures, stringent regulations, taxincentives, IPR regulations)
  • Addressing Challenges:1) Counteract Decades of Underinvestment• Governments, donors, and regional and internationalorganizations must cooperate more closely and increasetheir commitments to agricultural R&D if SSA countriesare to meet CAADP’s targets• Increased funding to allow universities to establish andmaintain basic research programs, which to date havebeen limited.• Diversification of funding sources is needed (includingprivate sector)
  • Addressing Challenges:2) Stop Excessive Volatility in Annual Spending Levels• Gains achieved through donor-funded projects can getquickly eroded in the absence of viable mechanisms tosustain them• Governments have to clearly identify long-term nationalR&D priorities and design relevant, focused, andcoherent R&D programs accordingly• Donor funding needs to be better aligned with nationalpriorities• Consistency and complementarities between donorprograms need to be ensured.
  • Addressing Challenges:3) Invest in Human Resources• Enhance the number and size of MSc and PhD programsand improve the curricula of existing programs• Countries with serious capacity gaps must:- lift recruitment restrictions- increase the retirement age for scientists- institute flexible working arrangements to ensure thatretired researchers can contribute to much-neededtraining and mentorship initiatives
  • Addressing Challenges:4) Maximize (Sub-)Regional Cooperation in R&D• Small countries generally lack the required critical mass ofagricultural R&D capacity and face great challenges inproducing high-quality research outputs• (Sub-)regional linkages need to be strengthened in orderto maximize synergistic opportunities• CGIAR will continue to act as a critical provider ofagricultural technologies in most SSA countries, as well assupporting capacity building efforts
  • Way Forward:Monitoring R&D Investment and Capacity Trends• Up-to-date information is critical to accurate interpretations ofthe current status and direction of national agricultural researchsystems• Monitoring the inputs, outputs, and performance of agriculturalR&D systems is fundamental to assessing progress towardCAADP’s targets• New ASTI data collection round currently ongoing• By mid-2013, ASTI will release updated (to 2011) datasets forSSA• Pilot a number of key agricultural R&D output and performanceindicators• More analysis on issues underlying agricultural R&D andinstitutional developments in close collaboration with Africa-based economists and other agricultural R&D experts needed
  • Thank you