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Burkina Faso: ASTI Country Factsheet

Burkina Faso: ASTI Country Factsheet

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Léa Vicky Magne Domgho, Samuel Neya, and Gert-Jan Stads


International Food Policy Research Institute

Publication category

Africa south of the Sahara

Related country page(s)
Burkina Faso

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.

Replacing retirees

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.