Public agricultural R&D investment in Uganda grew substantially during 2000–08. Initially, growth stemmed from increased donor funding, mainly through the World Bank loan–funded project ARTP II; more recently, government support increased significantly, but it largely served to redress serious contractions both in staffng and salary levels occurring from 1999 to 2005.
Reductions in researcher numbers during 1995–2005 mostly resulted from staff departures at the country’s main agricultural research agency NARO, in association with a reform process that resulted in low salaries, lack of promotional and other opportunities, low morale, and ultimately a hiring freeze between 2002 and 2005. After the recruitment restrictions were lifted in 2005 and a 100-percent salary increase was instated, total agricultural researcher numbers at NARO increased considerably. Total research capacity at Uganda’s main higher education agency, Makerere University, also grew in recent years, strengthening the role of this sector in the performance of agricultural R&D. Despite these positive advancements, the Ugandan government still faces a number of challenges.
Agricultural R&D remains highly dependent on donor funding, the role the nonprofit and private for-profit sector in agricultural R&D remains small, and income from the commercialization of research outputs is highly limited.