NARS Leaders Reflect on Capacity Building of Agricultural Research and Technology System

The leaders of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of West and Central Africa (WCA) will meet again on December 10, 2020 to discuss the various challenges relating to the capacity building of the agricultural research and technology system and develop strategies to overcome these challenges.

During this third and final half-day webinar which is part of a series of online engagement activities organized by CORAF on Agriculture Research for Development (AR4D), Leaders and Research Directors of 23 National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) will review the common deficits in human, institutional and systemic capacities in WCA, identify their impact on the possibility for agricultural R&D to stimulate the transformation and productivity of agriculture, and finally agree on some possible strategies to strengthen the human, institutional and systemic capacities of the NARS.

“Most of the NARIs are relatively small and very few employ more than 500 full-time researchers, but they are responsible for conducting research on a wide range of products in several agro-ecological zones,” said Prof. Abdulai Jalloh, Director of Research and Innovation of CORAF. 

“The limited capacity of most NARIs reduces the scope of their research mainly to adaptive work.”.

In fact, it is expected that this last iteration will lead to the following results:

  • Capacity deficits in NARS are identified and recommendations are made;
  • A list of priority issues in capacity building as part of AR4D is developed;
  • Strategies for investing in strengthening gaps in human, institutional and systemic capacities are documented;
  • The annual Forum of Research Leaders in West and Central Africa will have laid the foundations for dynamic consultation and cooperation.

The first webinar in the series was held on August 12, 2020, and focused on the impact of COVID-19 on agricultural research and the opportunities that the pandemic has created, while the second, held on October 20, 2020, brought together NARS leaders to discuss a better approach to better manage biological risks.