Republic of Congo

During 1991–2001, investments in agricultural research in Congo contracted significantly in response to the two civil wars.
Donor funding declined rapidly, many DGRST laboratories were seriously damaged, and the country became increasingly isolated from the international scientific community. Though sociopolitical tensions abated after 1999, funding—and hence expenditure—levels have not recovered anywhere near pre-war levels; at $18,000 in 2001, Congo had one of the lowest expenditure-per-researcher ratios in Africa. A 1996 study supported by FAO recommended the establishment of a single national agricultural research institute to replace the country’s numerous research agencies and address issues of funding and efficiency (especially given apparently overlapping and duplicate research mandates within the centers). No action has been taken to date, however, presumably because of the funding crisis. This has left the country without clear coordination and management of its agricultural research and with a rapidly contracting agricultural research capacity. Compounding this problem is the increasing age of well-qualified researchers, making retirement imminent, and the departure of younger researchers to the Marien Ngouabi University, which is perceived as a more attractive employer. Without new sources of funding from donors, producer organizations, or private enterprises, the future of the DGRST research agencies—and hence the overall national agricultural research system—is grim.

Author: 
Stads, Gert-Jan
Bani, Grégoire
Itoua-Ngaporo, Assori
Published date: 
2004
Publisher: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and General Delegation of Scientific and Technical Research (DGRST)
Series number: 
20
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