Mozambique’s agricultural R&D capacity levels increased between 2004 and 2008, particularly at the government agencies; however, human resource capacity and training are still major needs across all agencies. As a group, researchers in Mozambique are younger than in many other African countries, and shares of staff with postgraduate degrees are much lower.
BSc-qualified researchers accounted for half of the country’s agricultural research capacity in 2008. Despite agency and donor training efforts, much greater investment is needed in this area to increase staff qualifications to the levels necessary.
The HEST project, beginning in 2010, will contribute to capacity improvement, but it is focused on S&T in general and not agricultural S&T in particular. The lack of national PhD programs in the agricultural sciences is also a significant constraint to improving qualification levels.
Mozambique’s government has taken steps to support national S&T research, with efforts including the creation of MCT and IIAM, competitive research financing vehicles, reform of the university degree structure, and the initiation of the HEST project. However, such a high degree of dependence on donors for research funding leaves agricultural R&D vulnerable to shifts in donor priorities and processes. In addition, budget restrictions and unpredictable disbursements by the government make the effective management of research funds a challenge for the agencies. The research intensity ratio indicates that investment in agricultural R&D is still quite low in Mozambique in relation to its overall importance to the economy.