Report Highlights Path Towards Empowered R&D for Africa

New Report Highlights a Path Towards More Empowered Research and Development for Africa

A recent report released by the BreathThrough Institute, provides a comprehensive analysis along with importance guidance regarding the road ahead for capacity building efforts in African agricultural research, development and extension.

Building upon the research group’s foundational work originally published in the European Review of Agricultural Economics, and supported by a host of in-depth interviews from key individuals with longstanding working experience within African National Agricultural Research & Extension Systems (NARES) and International Agricultural Research & Development & Extension Institutions, this new report on Building 21st Century Agricultural Research and Extension Systems in Africa sets the stage for new progress through its seven recurrent themes that succinctly characterize both the challenges and solutions to creating sustainable transformation of African agriculture.

Top Seven Themes Directing Change

  1. Building strong NARES will initially require a regional approach for many countries.
  2. Sustained commitment and funding from African governments is a precondition for building strong NARES and regional and continental agricultural R&D&E systems.
  3. Organizations within the international agricultural research system (IARS) often profess to be strengthening the capacities of the NARES, but their overall contribution has been limited.
  4. The effectiveness of donor funding to the IARS depends on strengthening the NARES.
  5. Donors should confront the issue of creating organizations that duplicate activities of the NARES.
  6. It is important to integrate nutritional objectives into NARES priorities, and
  7. There is a need to recognize and strengthen the performance of tertiary education systems.

We put forward a 21st-century model for research, development, and extension that empowers African institutions to lead in priority setting and implementing agronomic and soil fertility research and development programs at the national, regional, and continental levels.

Dr. Shamie Zingore

Co-author and Director, APNI Research & Development

Meeting the food security and development goals in Africa will remain elusive without building the research and development capacity necessary to develop and deliver innovative and relevant technologies for diverse and complex farming systems on the continent. National research, development, and extension systems are critical to building sustainable transformation of agriculture in Africa.

A free download of this report is available from the BreakThrough Institute website.