7. Sustainable institutions for african agricultural development.
ISNAR Working Paper No. 19; Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research (ISNAR), The Hague, Netherlands, 1989, 26 pp. + annex
The thesis of this paper is that after a third of a century of independence, many African states are several generations behind Asia and Latin America in terms of their stage of scientific, political, and institutional maturity.
It is hypothesized that the stage of institutional maturity of individual African states will play a critical role in determining the type, amount, and sequence of foreign aid that can be absorbed with integrity. But most donors normally ignore the stage of institutional maturity of individual African states and prepare a continent-wide strategy to strengthen institutions such as a national agricultural research system or a national extension service.
What flows from Africa's agricultural research history over the past 60 years is the simple but powerful proposition that current institution-building strategies and lending approaches that are effective in Asia and Latin America will have to be sharply modified to fit the earlier stage of development of many countries in Africa. In addition, because of the differential stages of development between
African countries, institution-building approaches in middle-income countries in Africa, such as Zimbabwe and Cameron, are likely to fail in Guinea, Chad, Burundi, Somalia, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
A subregional strategy should be prepared to strengthen the three core national agricultural services--research, training, and extension--for each of the five major agroecologies: Sahel, coastal West Africa,
Central Africa, Eastern Africa and the Horn, and Southern Africa. Each strategy should include basic concepts research networks to link researchers in NARS with regional and international institutes.
The subregional approach to research planning has the potential of capturing research spillovers. But to implement such an approach, African states and donors must deal with some complex political issues limiting the development of sustainable institutions.
The paper is organized as follows:
Chapter I: Introduction
Summarizing this paper presents some thoughts on the development of sustainable institutions for African agricultural development. The focus is on strengthening the three core institutions research, training, and extension that form the institutional base of agriculture. Primary attention is devoted to strengthening national agricultural research systems (NARS), and secondary attention, to training and extension.
The ISNAR working paper series is a flexible instrument for sharing analysis and information about relevant organizational and management problems of the agricultural research systems in developing countries.
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Farming systems research and development
Review, human resource management, agricultural research, planning, training, ISNAR
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