Search form

Senegal: ASTI–ISRA Country Factsheet

Senegal: ASTI–ISRA Country Factsheet

ASTI publicaiton cover

Other languages:
Version française

Léa Vicky Magne Domgho, Lamine Gaye, and Gert-Jan Stads


International Food Policy Research Institute and Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute

Publication category

Africa south of the Sahara

Related country page(s)

Increased investment

Agricultural research spending increased significantly in Senegal in recent years, largely driven by a doubling of researcher salaries at ISRA and the launch of Phase II of the World Bank loan–funded WAAPP, which drove spending on research programs and infrastructure. In 2014, Senegal invested 1.15 percent of its agricultural output in agricultural research, up from just 0.63 percent two years earlier. The country’s agricultural research intensity ratio is now well above the minimum target of 1 percent of AgGDP set by the African Union and the United Nations.

Expansion of WAAPP

Senegal received a CFA 7.5 billion loan under WAAPP to develop the country’s capacity in research on dryland cereals during 2008–2012. This funding was mostly allocated to researcher training and the rehabiliation of facilities related to cereal research. In 2013, the World Bank approved a second phase of WAAPP in Senegal, widening the scope of the project to include livestock and horticulture. The budget for Phase II is CFA 30 billion for 2013–2017. WAAPP also funds a competitive research scheme, FNRAA, which accepts multidisciplinary research proposals from stakeholders.

Improved capacity

Compared with similarly sized African countries, Senegal’s agricultural researcher capacity is low, and insufficient to fulfill its ambitious research agenda. Researcher numbers declined in recent years through a combination of recruitment bans, retirement, and staff departures. In 2012, the government approved an increase in researcher salary levels and the extension of the retirement age from 60 to 65 years. The government also approved the recruitment and training of 10 researchers per year by ISRA over ten years in efforts to address the institute’s capacity needs.

Weak extension linkages

Despite being administered by the Ministry of Agriculture, ISRA and the country’s agricultural extension agencies have weak cooperation linkages. Moreover, ISRA and the extension agencies compete for scarce resources rather than collaborating as part of a broader agricultural innovation system. Linkages between research and extension need to be strengthened to ensure that improved varieties and technologies released by ISRA are successfully adopted by farmers.