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Kenya

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Kenia
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KARI

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Kenya: ASTI–KALRO Country Factsheet

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
Nienke Beintema, Lawrence Mose, Festus Murithi, Rosemary Emongor, and Titus Kibet

Year:
2016

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization

Publication category

Africa south of the Sahara

Related country page(s)
Kenya

Further information

Slower overall growth

Growth in agricultural research spending during 2000–2014 mostly stemmed from increased capacity at Kenya’s higher education agencies and among government organizations other than KALRO. Contractions in government and donor contributions caused KALRO’s spending levels to stagnate during 2011–2013 and decline in 2014. Agricultural research spending as a share of AgGDP fell from 1.33 in 2000 to 0.79 in 2014, reflecting strong agricultural growth, not declining research spending. The total number of agricultural researchers changed little during 2011–2014.

Improved coordination

In efforts to improve the coordination and efficiency of resource use, KARI, KESREF, CRF, and TRFK were merged to form KALRO in 2014. This change—which follows institutional structures in place in other countries, such as Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and India—is expected to improve integration between the government and higher education sectors and encourage closer collaboration among private, regional, and international research organizations in support of a more dynamic, innovative, and efficient agricultural research system.

Declining funding to KALRO

While declining government funding to KALRO and its predecessors from 2011 negatively affected research overall, EAAPP funding strengthened KALRO’s human and institutional capacity in the area of dairy research. The recent reallocation of commodity tax revenues to nonresearch-related activities will only exacerbate the funding shortfall KALRO experienced in 2014–2015 as a result of its restructuring. KALRO is endeavoring to address this challenge by promoting the generation of internal revenues through the sale of good and services.

Dwindling capacity at KALRO

An internal evaluation determined that, in order to fulfill its research potential, KALRO would need to increase agricultural researcher numbers by 40 percent. Yet capacity is actually expected to decline in the coming years because a large number of (especially PhD-qualified) researchers are approaching retirement age. By preventing KALRO from replacing departing and retiring staff with young scientists, the ongoing hiring freeze further complicates this challenge, creating a long-term impediment to the conduct and continuity of research.

Kenya: ASTI–KARI Country Factsheet

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
Nienke Beintema, Lawrence Mose, Michael Rahija, Peterson Mwangi, and Rosemary Emongor

Year:
2014

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute and Kenya Agricultural Research Institute

Publication category

Africa south of the Sahara

Related country page(s)
Kenya

Public agricultural R&D spending increased by 11 percent during 2008–2011 as a result of strong growth at CRF and other government agencies involved in agricultural research.

Although government funding for agricultural research has been strong and stable over time, total funding levels have fluctuated in response to high, but variable, levels of donor support—including development bank loans—to Kenya’s main agricultural research agency, KARI.

The total number of researchers employed at KARI remained fairly constant during 2008–2011 despite a decrease in the number of PhD-qualified researchers. Researcher numbers at most other agencies grew substantially during this time, resulting in a net increase of R&D capacity nationwide.

Kenya: ASTI–KARI Country Brief

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
Beintema, Nienke M.; Murithi, Festus M.; Mwangi, Peterson

Year:
2003

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR); and Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)

Publication category

Africa south of the Sahara

Related country page(s)
Kenya

Kenyan agricultural research is relatively well funded compared with many other African countries. Its intensity of research is well above that of other African countries and close to the average for the developed world. KARI continues to have the highest concentration of agricultural research activities in Kenya although the higher-education agencies, nonprofit institutions, and other agencies also make significant contributions to agricultural research. Agricultural research by the private sector remains small and limited to specific high-value  commercial enterprises.

Agricultural research, however, continues to rely heavily on external donor funding. More local funding, either public or private, should be mobilized in order to reduce donor dependency. The establishment of partnerships with the private sector, for example, needs to be further encouraged and developed.

Kenya: ASTI–KARI Country Note

ASTI publicaiton cover

Authors:
Flaherty, Kathleen; Murithi, Festus; Mulinge, Wellington; Njuguna, Esther

Year:
2010

Publisher
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)

Publication category

Africa south of the Sahara

Related country page(s)
Kenya

Public agricultural R&D in Kenya continues to be relatively well-funded and staffed compared with many other African countries.
In 2008, the country employed over 1,000 FTE agricultural researchers and spent 4.5 billion Kenyan shillings or 154 million dollars on agricultural R&D (both in 2005 constant prices). Following a period of decline during the late 1990s, the number of agricultural R&D staff in Kenya has increased again in recent years. This was the combined result of a merger of two institutes with KARI and the loosening of a general recruitment freeze that had been in place under the conditions of a number of structural adjustment programs. In 2008, total capacity levels were at levels that were slightly higher than those recorded in the early 1990s. KARI remains Kenya’s largest agricultural research agency, although the role of the country’s higher education sector has been on the increase in recent years.

Total agricultural R&D investments in Kenya varied from one year to the next, reflecting fluctuations in donor funding and, to a lesser extent, contributions from the national government to KARI. KARI remains fairly dependent on funding from the World Bank and various other donor  agencies, although less so than during the 1990s. The other government agencies are still heavily donor dependent too. In contrast, Kenya’s commodity-based research agencies (KESREF, CRF, and TRF) are almost entirely funded through commodity levies and the sale of goods and services. Although income from the sale of goods and services has increased at KARI and many of the other government agencies since 2001, the share of internally generated resources in total funding in 2008 remained small.

Overall, Kenya outperformed many of its African counterparts in numerous key indicator areas. The country has among the highest research intensity ratios in the region; it continues to attract large sums of donor funding; it has made major improvements when it comes to hiring and training female research staff; and average qualification levels of the country’s agricultural scientists have shown a steady increase in recent years. Despite these positive developments, KARI and the other government agencies face some important challenges on the staffing front. Rapidly increasing numbers of agricultural scientists are approaching retirement age, and staff retention has become a major concern for KARI and the other government agencies as researchers favor better-paid positions at the country’s universities and private sector companies.


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