Sorry, this page is currently not available
in collaboration with
Côte d'Ivoire: ASTI–CNRA Country Factsheet
Léa Vicky Magne Domgho, Sékou Doumbia, and Gert-Jan Stads
International Food Policy Research Institute and National Center for Agricultural Research
Côte d’Ivoire’s agricultural research capacity increased rapidly in recent years, both in the government and higher education sectors and both in terms of numbers and qualification levels. Between 2012 and 2014 alone, the country added 43 PhD-qualified agricultural researchers to its workforce. Moreover, as of 2014 a considerable number of researchers were undertaking PhD-level and other training, locally and abroad. Undoubtedly, these large-scale capacity upgrades will have a positive impact on the future quality of the country’s agricultural research.
Exemplary funding mechanism
Unlike most NARIs in West Africa, which are funded mainly by national governments and donors, CNRA is predominantly funded by private producers through FIRCA. FIRCA allocates at least 75 percent of the subscription fees raised by producers in a given subsector to research serving that commodity. The remaining funds are allocated to a solidarity fund to serve sectors (mostly food crops) unable to raise sufficient funding through their own subscription fees. FIRCA is unique and exemplary in Africa in that it promotes demand-driven research.
Growth in Côte d’Ivoire’s research spending was negligible in the decade preceding 2014 in inflation-adjusted terms. During 2009–2014, government funding accounted for just 16 percent of CNRA’s total funding, representing a much lower share than the 40 percent per year stipulated when the center was established in 1998. The government’s inability to meet its budget targets, combined with delayed disbursement of funding, make it difficult for CNRA to conduct its ongoing program of research and to successfully plan its longer term agenda.
Productive research system
Despite recent political turmoil and funding challenges, Côte d’Ivoire still has the most advanced and productive research system in francophone Africa. It has far better physical research infrastructure than most countries, its researchers publish extensively in international journals, its research agencies release a steady flow of improved varieties and other technologies, and a well-functioning extension system enables large-scale commercialization of newly released varieties and technologies.
Côte d'Ivoire: ASTI–CNRA Country Brief
Stads, Gert-Jan; Beintema, Nienke M.
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR); and National Agricultural Research Center (CNRA)
Political unrest, falling world-market commodity prices, and,
most recently, the outbreak of the civil war in September 2002 have compounded the climate of financial uncertainty within the agricultural research system in Côte d’Ivoire. CNRA as the major entity conducting research has been most severely affected. As of early 2002, funding to CNRA from producer organizations and the private sector was well below the levels agreed upon under PNASA II. Uncertainty about suspension of foreign aid, along with the deterioration of public finances,
severely constrained agricultural research expenditures in Côte d’Ivoire in recent years.
As long as the current crisis continues, the privatization criteria agreed in PNASA II will not be met, and CNRA will remain dependent on government funding and revenues from its own commodity sales. Hopefully this situation will be redressed once the country’s political situation improves.
Despite these negative trends, investment levels in agricultural R&D are comparable to or higher than those in other African countries.
Côte d'Ivoire: ASTI–CNRA Country Note
Stads, Gert-Jan; Doumbia, Sékou
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and National Center for Agricultural Research (CNRA)
During the 1990s, agricultural research in Côte d’Ivoire underwent major changes, following the launch of PNASA II, a project that was largely funded through a World Bank loan and which led to the establishment of CNRA. The December 1999 coup d’état and the outbreak of civil war in 2002, which caused CNRA to halt all operations in the northern, central, and western regions of the country, led to a withdrawal of World Bank support and to the early closure of PNASA II. These events had negative consequences for CNRA, a semi-private agency that is supposed to receive 40 percent of its annual funding from the national government and 60 percent from the private sector. However, the government has been unable to keep its commitment in full: in 2008, government funding covered only 15 percent of CNRA’s total expenditures. The private sector, through FIRCA, and internally generated resources accounted for the remainder of CNRA’s funding. Uncertainty as to whether government funding will come through or not makes it very difficult for CNRA to carry out its daily research and to engage in planning for the long term.
Despite these problems, CNRA’s funding levels for the last few years reveal a relatively stable trend.
FIRCA is a funding system, which is unique and exemplary in Africa. Through FIRCA, research has become more demand driven and the system’s solidarity mechanism ensures the availability of research funds to assist those agricultural production sectors in which the volume of raised subscription fees is low. In addition, Côte d’Ivoire is one of the few countries in the subregion that does not depend heavily on large-scale donor funding to pursue its agricultural research. This means that in setting its research priorities, it is less subjected to external pressures than are numerous other countries in West Africa.
With its 122 FTE agricultural researchers (and 16 FTE technicians holding MSc or BSc degrees), Côte d’Ivoire’s agricultural R&D capacity levels are generally speaking lower than those of many other countries in the subregion. This does not necessarily constitute a cause for concern because CNRA’s status as a semi-private institute has enabled it to rationalize both its program and its organizational structure: indeed, CNRA successfully maximizes its results by investing fewer resources
and avoids the pitfall of an overabundance of staff. So in spite of civil war and funding problems, Côte d’Ivoire’s agricultural research, and in particular that of CNRA, ranks among the best performing and most innovative in Africa.