Senegal Agricultural Research Projects I and II.  [1981 - 1992]

Co-Principal Investigators:

Project end date: June 30, 1992

Project Name:           Senegal Agricultural Research and Planning  (SARP I) and Senegal Agricultural Research (SAR II) *
Donor:                        United States Agency for International Development/Senegal Mission
Contract No:              AID/685-0223-C-00-1064-00 (SARP-I) and AID/685-0957-C-00-8004-00 (SAP-II)
Account No:               71-2010 and others
Location:                    Senegal
Duration:                    Dec 1, 1981-Dec 26, 1987 (SARP-I) & Dec 27, 1987 – Jun 30, 1992 (SAP-II) 
Budget:                       $4,697,907 (SARP –I) and $5,093.000 (SAR-II)
Documents:                (Click here to view)

Project Goals:           SARP I. To increase the capacity of the Government of Senegal to more effectively plan and evaluate agricultural development policies and projects by strengthening the macro-economic and farming systems components of the new, decentralized Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute (ISRA). 

                                   SAR II. The project purpose is to strengthen ISRA’s cereal-based research system in the Senegal River Basin, focusing on the development of Senegal agricultural research capacities in the Senegal River and on the improvement of the overall national research capacity of ISRA to support cereals-based research in the Senegal River Basin. The project goal is to improve the capacity of Senegal to plan and implement agricultural development activities in the Senegal River Basin more effectively.

Project Plans/Objectives - SARP I:

  • To develop Senegalese research capacity through in-country, third-country, and long-term overseas training and through participation in the design and execution of production systems research and macroeconomic research programs.
  • To assist in organizing and carrying out production systems research in major ecological zones in order to identify social, economic, technical, and institutional constraints on present farming systems and develop improved technical packages that are biologically stable, privately profitable, and socially acceptable.
  • To carry out macroeconomic research on food, nutrition, and agricultural policies in order to provide guidance to policy makers on economic and institutional constraints on agricultural production and marketing with emphasis on the food grain sub-sector and food security.

Project Plan/Objectives SAR II:

  •  To strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the Crop Production Research Department’s cereals-based research programs.
  • To integrate cereals-based research into the Senegal River Valley research program and into ISRA’s overall national research plan.
  • To upgrade the technical and professional skills of ISRA researchers and technicians.
  • To consolidate production systems and applied economics research programs.
  • Subsequent contract modifications added the following objectives:
    • To conduct a study of agroforestry issues, including factors relating to the regeneration of the Acacia albida in the Peanut Basin of Senegal (Modification No. 3, October 24, 1989).
    • To strengthen ISRA’s capacity to set research priorities and align budgetary and infrastructure resources (Modification No. 5, September 18, 1990).
    • To strengthen ISRA’s capacity to complete [its] institutional budgeting process (Modification No. 5).
    • To strengthen applied economics programs, and improve their linkages with policymakers and with cereals-based research (Modification No. 5).

Cooperating Institutions:   Senegal - ISRA, ISRA/BAME (Bureau of Macro-Economic Analysis) SOMIV AC, SAED 

Project Summary: Summaries for SARP I are presented for the three different phases of the project:

1. Training - ISRA researchers were selected for long-term training placed in several U.S. universities.  MSU coordinated their training programs to best meet the needs of each trainee and the demands of ISRA for its new research program.  In addition to their degree coursework, ISRA students attend an intensive summer institute on farming systems field research methods at MSU. This institute was designed to foster inter-disciplinary research by helping trainees from various subject areas build skills in farming systems research. The institute gave special attention to: a) the meaning, potential, and limits of farming systems research; b) the techniques of field data collection and analysis; and c) using programmable calculators and micro-computers in farming systems research.  The project provided for the training of 24 ISRA scientists through the master’s degree. Some of the students returned to Senegal to conduct their thesis research.

2. Technical Assistance.  MSU provided five long-term research’s to ISRA. A rural social scientist served as the field project director in Senegal and as a member of the Central Systems Analysis Group within ISRA’s Production Systems Department. Two MSU production systems economists were assigned to the production systems teams at two different regional research stations. One is worked at the Djibelor Station in the Casamance Region. Two MSU economists were also assigned to ISRA’s newly created Bureau of Macro-Economic Analysis located in Dakar.  To complement the technical assistance provided through long-term placement of researchers in Senegal, MSU drew on a wide range of expertise among its permanent staff and facu1ty for short-term consultancies in specified areas deemed necessary by ISRA.

3. Documentation and Data Analysis.  Two other areas of major involved improving ISRA’s Documentation and Information Service, and strengthening computer services available to researchers. MSU assisted in the documentation effort by helping reorganize and improve ISRA’s documentation service and helped develop a professional journal for agricultural research. Assistance to ISRA’s computer services primarily involves preparing training manuals and software for the IBM 5120 micro-computers located at four regional research stations.  Specifically, MSU identified and developed micro-computer software to meet the specific needs of researchers at the stations. Special attention was also given to developing training materials for use by students in the U.S. and staff in Senegal who wished to learn how to use micro-computers.

Summary for SAP II.   Compared to SARP, SAR-II had a greater emphasis on support for crop research and for research planning and management, and less emphasis on support for applied economics and production systems research.  During the lifetime of SAR-II, ISRA underwent significant organizational and personnel changes in response to severe budgetary constraints. This decision reflected USAD’s belief in the importance of irrigated agriculture, as well as a desire to speed implementation and take advantage of existing funds. During the lifetime of SAR-11, ISRA underwent significant organizational and personnel changes in response to severe budgetary constraints.  ISRA reduced its personnel complement from 885 employees in June 1990 to 560.  Some research stations were closed, and others were designated substations or appended administratively to larger centers. The Agrarian Systems and Agricultural Economics Department was eliminated, and the Bureau of Macro-Economic Analysis was revived. Lastly, in early 1991, the number of research programs was reduced from 64 to 23.

Documents From/About This Project:




*This description is adapted from work by Nancy E. Horn, an MSU alumnus from the Anthropology Department, published in 1985 “A Project History of Michigan State University’s Participation in International Development for the period 1951 – 1985”.  See AFRE Emeritus Faculty Acknowledgements