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Burkina Faso: ASTI Country Factsheet
Léa Vicky Magne Domgho, Samuel Neya, and Gert-Jan Stads
International Food Policy Research Institute
WAAPP drives spending growth
Burkina Faso’s agricultural research expenditures have fluctuated considerably over time, with spending peaks and troughs coinciding with the initation and completion of large donor-funded projects. The 2012 launch of WAAPP—a five-year US$16 million project funded by a World Bank grant—drove the latest surge in spending. WAAPP is to transform INERA into West Africa’s center of specialization for research on mangoes, onions, and tomatoes. WAAPP addresses training and rehabilitation needs for these commodities, but leaves other critical areas underfunded.
Limited government funding
Burkina Faso is one of the few African countries to reach the African Union and United Nations’ minimum agricultural research investment target of 1 percent of AgGDP. Nonetheless, its agricultural research is extremely dependent on donor and development bank funding. In order to enhance the long-term impact of agricultural research, higher and sustained government funding is needed, not just for researcher salaries, but also to operate research programs and maintain infrastructure. Donor funding, in turn, needs to be more closely aligned with government-defined priorities.
After a sustained period of recruitment restrictions, the total number of agricultural researchers has increased rapidly in recent years. Recognizing that CNRST institutes (including INERA and IRSAT) will soon face considerable capacity losses due to retirement, the government approved a plan to recruit a large number of young MScand PhD-qualified researchers between 2013 and 2017. It will be crucial that these researchers receive appropriate training and mentoring, and that the appropriate conditions and incentives are established to encourage their long-term commitment.
Strenghtening extension linkages
Linkages between agricultural research and extension in Burkina Faso are weak and need to be strengthened. Since the 1990s, the number of extension agents has declined continuously with the result that the National Agricultural Extension and Advisory System is no longer effective. Staffing and funding for extension are needed so that INERA’s improved varieties and technologies can be disseminated more effectively and adopted by smallholders.
Agricultural R&D in Burkina Faso: an Assessment of the Environment and Agricultural Research Institute
Hamidou Traoré, San Traoré, and Gert - Jan Stas
International Food Policy Research Institute and West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECAR)
During 2013–2014, ASTI, CORAF/WECARD, and national focal points carried out an in-depth assessment of the critical human, financial, and institutional capacity issues that INERA is facing. The assessment included a quantitative survey collecting information on human and financial resources, R&D infrastructure, and R&D outputs; a series of face-to-face interviews with selected research and managerial staff; and a staff motivation survey distributed to a selected group of researchers and managerial staff. This summary note highlights the trends and challenges that emerged from the data, structuring it within five broad areas: funding capacity, human resource capacity, research outputs, research-related infrastructure, and institutional conditions.
Burkina Faso: ASTI–INERA Country Factsheet
Gert-Jan Stads, San Traoré, and Léa Vicky Magne Domgho
International Food Policy Research Institute and Environment and Agricultural Research Institute (INERA)
Agricultural R&D spending in Burkina Faso has followed a highly erratic pattern in recent years. The government funds research staff salaries, but operating costs and capital investments are largely dependent on volatile donor funding.
Underinvestment in agricultural R&D is serious. In 2011, Burkina Faso invested only 0.42 percent of its AgGDP in agricultural R&D, which is well below the recommended 1-percent target set by the NEPAD and the United Nations.
The national number of agricultural researchers grew until 2006, but thereafter steadily declined. In 2011, the country employed 218 FTE researchers, roughly half of whom held PhD degrees.