Strengthening Sudan’s agricultural research system is a key component in addressing the country’s increasing food insecurity and poverty. Nevertheless, public agricultural R&D spending has decreased over the past 30 years because of declining (and instable) government contributions to agricultural research combined with the completion of two FAO-executed projects, a third project, ARTEP, funded through a World Bank loan, and discontinuation of funding related in cooperation with ICARDA. Moreover, actual government funding to agricultural
research has fallen far short of approved budget allocations.
Notwithstanding, Sudan’s total number of agricultural researchers has increased during the past three decades, but this was mainly the result of the creation of new universities with agricultural science faculties. Despite the increasing numbers, the quality of staff in terms of postgraduate qualifications has deteriorated.
Like other countries in the region, and developing countries in general, whose economies depend on the agriculture sector, recognition of the importance of agricultural R&D and the inherent need for adequate and stable R&D funding is vital.