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Togo: ASTI–ITRA Country Factsheet
Léa Vicky Magne Domgho, Antoine Kpodo, and Gert-Jan Stads
International Food Policy Research Institute and Togolese Agricultural Research Institute
Agricultural research spending in Togo fell by 65 percent during 2000–2014 with the result that the country invested just 0.17 percent of its AgGDP in agricultural research by 2014—well below the minimum 1 percent target recommended by the United Nations and the African Union. The bulk of funding that ITRA receives from the government is allocated to salary costs. The institute’s research programs are largely dependent on (short-term and ad hoc) donor funding, which puts the long-term continuity and effectiveness of ITRA’s research programs at risk.
Recent capacity increases
After a 17-year recruitment ban, large-scale public-sector recruitment prompted the influx of a large number of agricultural researchers in 2009. However, the fact that ITRA researchers lack official status and hence are paid significantly less than their university-based counterparts means that ITRA will continue to struggle to recruit, retain, and motivate well-qualified researchers. In addition, secondment of highly qualified ITRA personnel to other departments under the Ministry of Agriculture further exacerbates the lack of expertise within the institute.
Upgrading qualifications Unlike Togo’s universities, ITRA lacks a critical mass of PhD-qualified researchers. The country’s long-term embargo has precluded it from taking advantage of donor-funded postgraduate training programs, which have benefitted many of its neighbors over the years. Under WAAPP—a US$12 million World Bank grant in support of agricultural research during 2012–2017—an important capacity building component was launched. Based on a thorough analysis of skills gaps, 30 ITRA researchers were selected to receive MSc and PhD training, both in Togo and in other West African countries.
ITRA’s livestock and poultry stations are being upgraded as part of WAAPP. However, the overall rundown state of the institute’s remaining stations, in addition to office space shortages, frequent power outages, and unreliable Internet access, make it extremely challenging for researchers to work effectively. Large-scale capital investments are needed for ITRA and the other research agencies to address the many challenges that Togo’s agricultural sector is facing.
Agricultural R&D in Togo: An Assessment of the Togolese Agricultural Research Institute
Kokou Edoh Adabe and Gert - Jan Stads
International Food Policy Research Institute and West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECAR)
During 2013–2014, ASTI, CORAF/WECARD, and national focal points carried out an in-depth assessment of the critical human, financial, and institutional capacity issues that ITRA is facing. The assessment included a quantitative survey collecting information on human and financial resources, R&D infrastructure, and R&D outputs; a series of face-to-face interviews with selected research and managerial staff; and a staff motivation survey distributed to a selected group of researchers and managerial staff. This summary note highlights the trends and challenges that emerged from the data, structuring it within five broad areas: funding capacity, human resource capacity, research outputs, research-related infrastructure, and institutional conditions.
Togo: ASTI–ITRA Country Factsheet
Gert-Jan Stads, Kokou Edoh Adabe, and Léa Vicky Magne Domgho
International Food Policy Research Institute and Togolese Agricultural Research Institute.
Total agricultural R&D spending in Togo fell by nearly half during 2000–2011. The country’s 2011 intensity ratio (at 0.42 percent) was well below the 1-percent investment target recommended by the NEPAD and the United Nations.
After a period of steady decline, the national number of agricultural researchers in Togo increased rapidly in response to a general public- sector recruitment competition in 2009, which prompted the influx of a large number of (mostly MSc-qualified) researchers.
As the 2009 recruitment round was the first since 1992, most of Togo’s agricultural researchers are either in their thirties or their fifties. Given that a large number of researchers are set to retire in the coming years, further recruitment efforts are urgently needed.