ISMAIL MOUMOUNI MOUSSA1, BERNARD P. AGBO2
1Humboldt-University Berlin, Rural Sociology, Germany
2Projet AGRAN (GTZ), CENAP à Agonkanmey, Benin
Poverty alleviation and the reduction of the gap between rich and poor countries in the context of globalisation remain one of the important challenges for African research. Especially, agricultural research has a major role to play because of the socio-economical importance of agriculture in many developing countries. It became vital to establish institutional arrangements and to set up operational approaches and strategies that would help taking advantages from this major reality. This paper describes and analyses the funding strategies of agricultural research for easing the transition of local communities to the globalisation on the national scale in Benin. For this purpose, semi-structured interviews were carried out with leaders of the public research organisation, development projects, farmer organisations and NGOs. The key requirements for connecting local communities to a globalised world are (i) the development of commodity networks at different levels, (ii) the improvement of innovations for agricultural production and processing and (iii) the access to the international market. The strategies developed for this purpose are (1) the organisation of research around the main commodity, (2) the involvement of local communities in identifying research priorities, (3) the establishment of competitive grants system for improving the effectiveness and the efficiency of agricultural research and (4) the involvement of other stakeholders in agricultural research. The main issues to address for improving the effectiveness of agricultural research in connecting local communities to a globalised world are the investment in strategic research to build or improve the chains of values, the sustainability of the funding system and the assessment criteria.
Keywords: Agricultural research, Benin, Globalisation, Local community