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Mauritania: ASTI Country Factsheet

Mauritania: ASTI Country Factsheet

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Léa Vicky Magne Domgho, Souleymane Guèye, and Gert-Jan Stads


International Food Policy Research Institute

Publication category

Africa south of the Sahara

Related country page(s)

Spending volatility

Compared with many other countries in West Africa, crop and livestock research play a relatively minor role in Mauritania given its arid climate. IMROP, which focuses on fisheries research, accounted for the bulk of the country’s agricultural research spending in 2014. IMROP’s funding, which has fluctuated considerably over time due to the expiration and renewal of various fisheries treaties with the European Union, was the main driver of significant longterm volatility in the country’s total agricultural research investment.

Capacity challenges

Funding shortages, lack of a critical mass of qualified scientists, and dilapidated infrastructure limit CNRADA’s and CNERV’s research outputs and, hence, their impact on Mauritania’s crop and livestock sectors. WAAPP—a World Bank–funded project, currently in preparation in Mauritania—is set to address these centers’ most acute human resource challenges. To maintain and motivate researchers over time, however, inequities in status and salary levels of researchers employed at CNRADA and CNERV versus those employed at IMROP and in the higher education sector need to be addressed.

Institutional reform needed

Although the World Bank– funded Agricultural Services Program (1995–2004) included plans to merge CNRADA and CNERV to form a single NARI and establish a national agricultural research plan, none of this materialized. Twelve years later, the country still urgently needs a more effective national S&T policy strategy, better coordination of agricultural research, and further strengthening of its crop and livestock research institutes. Strong political will and matching funding are needed to revitalize agricultural research in Mauritania.

Limited private research

Agricultural research performed by the private sector is minimal in Mauritania. Most of the larger agricultural companies do not employ in-house research staff, but instead outsource their research to IMROP, CNRADA, or CNERV. Top Lait, a milk producer, is the only company identified as being actively involved in agricultural research. Its 3 FTE researchers carry out research related to livestock genetic improvement, fodder, and animal health.