Agricultural Research and Development Indicators Show Missing Gaps
By Virginia Wangari
Kenya has a large number of agencies involved in agricultural research, which have increased in recent years through the expansion of public and private universities. To date most of these agencies have mostly conducted research in isolation of each other, which increases the risks of duplication of research efforts leading to wasteful or inefficient utilization of resources.
These findings were part of 2012 Agricultural, Science, and Technology Indicators survey results from 37 agencies interviewed.
The Deputy Director General in charge of Livestock research in KALRO, Dr Joseph Mureithi said the ASTI survey has helped to identify missing linkages in research, underscoring the role of partnerships in bridging such challenges.
KALRO Deputy Director- General, Dr Joseph Mureithi addresses ASTI meeting
“We need to exploit the potential in each country for the benefit of our people. Rwanda is good in bean research, so is Kenya in dairy research and ILRI in molecular Biology”, said the Deputy Director General during the launch 2014/ 2015 ASTI round survey at the Agricultural Information Resource Centre on May 29 2015.
Dr Mureithi said government funding for the agriculture research was not enough citing article 31 of the constitution which obligated
the government to provide money for scientific research. The survey results indicate that the government provided the biggest chunk of funding to research and development in the country at 62%, most which was spent on salaries and operational expenses. The survey results which are released by a team headed by the ASTI country focal person Dr Lawrence Mose comprised of cross- country key indicators that showed that Kenya was leading in sub-Saharan Africa with the highest number of full time agricultural researchers followed by Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania respectively.
The indicators showed that 40% of the research focused mainly on crops, followed by livestock at 19%, natural resources 10%, while forestry and Fisheries followed by 8% and 5% respectively.