Since the beginning of the 1990s, Mauritania’s agricultural researcher numbers have steadily increased, though in recent years increasing researcher numbers at IMROP mask decreasing researcher numbers at CNERV and CNRADA. Agricultural research budgets followed this overall upward trend up until 2000, after which expenditure totals fell. Expenditures rebounded with the signing of a fisheries treaty between the European Union and Mauritania in 2002.
CNRADA and CNERV face serious financial difficulty. With the cessation of World Bank funded PSA in 2000 many research activities at these centers have been halted, precipitating an exodus of researchers seeking opportunities elsewhere. A merger between CNRADA and CNERV is possible, as is the initiation of a second phase of PSA. Another promising possibility is the establishment of a milk treaty between the European Union and Mauritania along the lines of the existing fisheries treaty. For the time being, however, the future remains uncertain.
In contrast, IMROP has thrived in recent years because of the fisheries treaty, which has enabled IMROP to achieve institute status and to attract substantial secure funding not only from the European Union and the national government but also from a variety of additional donors.
Agricultural R&D in Mauritania can be described as employing a relatively small number of crop and livestock researchers, low levels of highly qualified researchers, and low levels of female researchers compared with neighboring countries. It also distinguishes itself from its neighbors in having three main government agencies involved in agricultural R&D as opposed to the more usual one, and in having quite a low share of agricultural research conducted within higher education agencies.