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Madagascar ASTI–FOFIFA Country Factsheet

Madagascar ASTI–FOFIFA Country Factsheet

ASTI publicaiton cover

Other languages:
Version française

Authors:
Léa Vicky Magne Domgho, Rivonjaka Randriamanamisa, and Gert-Jan Stads

Year:
2017

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute and National Center for Applied Research and Rural Development

Publication category

Africa south of the Sahara

Related country page(s)
Madagascar

Further information

Severe underinvestment

Madagascar’s political and economic instability have had a severe adverse impact on the country’s agricultural research spending in recent years. Expenditure levels dropped by 40 percent between 2008 and 2010, and have only slowly increased since. Spending just 0.13 percent of AgGDP on agricultural research in 2014, Madagascar’s agricultural research intensity ratio is one of the lowest in Africa.

Aging research capacity

Madagascar’s number of agricultural researchers has remained relatively stable over time. However, maintaining high-quality research and avoiding capacity erosion will be crucial challenges in the coming years as large numbers of senior researchers are set to retire. FOFIFA’s recent recruitment of 10 MSc researchers is a positive first step, but more recruitment and training are urgently needed. Sustainable long-term funding must be made available to ensure that these short-term gains can be maintained, built upon, and translated in tangible research results over time.

High donor dependency

Compared to most national agricultural research institutes across Africa, FOFIFA is highly dependent on donor and development funding. By nature, this type of funding tends to be short-term and ad hoc, potentially skewing research agendas toward short-term goals that may not necessarily be aligned with national priorities. The government will need to clearly identify its long-term research priorities and allocate sustained funding, not just for salaries but also to sustain research programs. Creative mechanisms to stimulate private funding should also be explored.

Challenges to food security

Madagascar faces frequent food production shortages. Research has the potential to provide the necessary technological solutions to enable the country to reverse declining agricultural productivity and achieve food security. Increased investments in human resources, infrastructure, and research programs are needed, as is the creation of incentives and mechanisms to strengthen the provision of extension and advisory services and to incentivize the private sector to conduct agricultural research.