Agricultural R&D in Ethiopia has received increasing financial
support from the government and through two consecutive World Bank loans. Total researcher numbers and total spending almost doubled in the 1990s, but the country’s intensity of investment is still low compared with other African countries.
Through ARTP, a number of long-standing constraints to Ethiopian agricultural research are being addressed, including the shortage of MSc- and PhD-qualified research staff; insufficient physical and financial resources; weak organizational structures for agricultural research; inadequate coverage of agroecological zones; inadequate planning and prioritization of research; and lack of collaboration among research agencies, with extension and farmers organizations, and with possible partners abroad (Demel 2002).
These are vital steps given that a large number of Ethiopians are in food crisis and will depend on food aid for their survival. Agricultural research must continue to address the major problems of declining production and productivity, worsening land degradation, increasing food insecurity, and lack of rain.