Updated datasets and analysis for Africa south of the Sahara (SSA) are now live on the ASTI website, including the new ASTI Synthesis Report, “A Comprehensive Overview of Investments and Human Resource Capacity in African Agricultural Research.”
This new report—and related data and analysis—finds that, although SSA countries have made progress honoring regionwide commitments to agricultural support such as outlined in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), growth in agricultural research investments has lagged considerably behind spending on other agricultural areas, such as farm support, subsidies, and irrigation.
The data cover key indicators on agricultural research investments, human resource capacity, and research outputs in the region. The report highlights various challenges:
- Agricultural research spending and human resource capacity both grew in SSA as a whole during 2000–2014, but results were uneven.
- Underinvestment in agricultural research continued and many countries remained dependent on volatile donor funding.
- In a large number of countries, a high proportion of agricultural researchers qualified to the PhD-level is approaching retirement age. This, combined with high shares of more recently recruited junior staff, could result in significant knowledge gaps and jeopardize future research outputs.
- Outdated research facilities and equipment are impeding the conduct of productive research.
Taking into account these challenges, the report outlines a number of policy implications for SSA governments.
ASTI analysis has also resulted in new national spending targets for agricultural research, based on characteristics of each country’s economy and agricultural sector. The report finds that certain countries are close to their attainable investment levels, while others have the potential to invest much more.
See more regional and country trends by viewing and downloading the report. Open-access datasets, analysis, country factsheets, and online tools for country comparison, graphing, and benchmarking are available on the ASTI website.