In the three decades to 2000, agricultural research in Nigeria was characterized by institutional instability, declining funding availability, and general uncertainty. After a few years of growth in the early 1970s, total spending fell by two-thirds between the mid -1970s and mid -1990s but has increased in recent years largely due to a World Bank loan and increases in civil salaries. Nevertheless, the institutes continue to lack appropriate levels of funding for their research activities. Over the years, the quality of staff at the government research agencies has deteriorated, with many senior scientists, particularly those with PhD degrees, moving into the university sector or abroad. These well-qualified scientists could not be replaced because of a freeze on government recruitment and lack of funding for training. NARP was an attempt to address management, financial, and human resource problems within the Nigerian agricultural research system, but the project achieved only limited success (mainly in the area of national and international collaboration), largely because of the absence of intended counterpart funding from the Nigerian government and unsatisfactory management of the project’s finances. Since NARP’s completion in 1999, additional funding has not been forthcoming to enable its original programs to be maintained.
Nevertheless, overall funding for agricultural research has increased in recent years, but only as a result of a substantial increase in civil service salaries in 2000.

Beintema , Nienke M.
Ayoola, Gbolagade B.
Published date: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR)
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