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About CARI

At A Glace, CARI

The Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) located at Suakoko, some 180 km north‐west of Monrovia was created in 1980 from the Central Agricultural Experiment Station (CARES) to conduct both adaptive and applied research in agriculture. In the 1980‘s the Institute had seven commodity-based programmes (rice, cassava, cattle, swine, cocoa, coffee, and vegetables) and planning had been initiated for a cropping systems programme (Francis et al., 1995). However, CARI was devastated by the civil war both in human and physical terms. The physical infrastructure was severely damaged, the contents of buildings looted and professional and technical staff scattered both in‐country and abroad and in some instances killed.

CARI restarted very limited operations in 2006, focusing on the provision of planting materials for rice (from WARDA), cassava, yams and a limited range of cultivars of maize, beans, and soybeans (from IITA) (Ministry of Agriculture, 2008) a focus which has continued with little change to date. On the other hand, various initiatives have been mooted since 2007 to re‐vitalize CARI but so far progress has been extremely limited. Ideally, CARI should be a semi-autonomous organ of the Ministry of Agriculture.

 

Historical Background

The Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) located at Suakoko, some 180 km northwest of Monrovia was created in 1980 from the Central Agricultural Experiment Station (CARES) to conduct both adaptive and applied research in agriculture. In the 1980‘s the Institute had seven commodity based programmes (rice, cassava, cattle, swine, cocoa, coffee and vegetables) and planning had been initiated for a cropping systems programme (Francis et al., 1995).

However, CARI was devastated by the civil war both in human and physical terms. The physical infrastructure was severely damaged, the contents of buildings looted and professional and technical staff scattered both incountry and abroad and in some instances killed. CARI restarted very limited operations in 2006, focusing on the provision of planting materials for rice (from WARDA), cassava, yams and a limited range of cultivars of maize, beans and soybeans (from IITA) (Ministry of Agriculture, 2008) a focus which has continued with little change todate. On the other hand various initiatives have been mooted since 2007 to revitalize CARI but so far progress has been extremely limited.

Ideally CARI should be a semiautonomous organ of the Ministry of Agriculture. Figure 1 shows the organization structure of CARI with a Director General (DG) as its Chief Executive. Under the DG, there is one post of Deputy DG of Research Programs (currently vacant) and one post of Assistant DG responsible for Finance and Administration which is also vacant. 26 2.1.1. The Current Vision,Mission and Management Structure of CARI According to documents sourced from CARI and USAID Liberia country office, the institute‘s Vision is: “Make agriculture business” Its mission is: “To undertake applied and adaptive research for enhanced productivity of food, feed, fiber, and other agricultural products in Liberia for the attainment of food security, poverty alleviation, income generation and job creation” The mission statement reasonably reflects the purpose for CARI‘s existence and defines the ultimate benefits to be realized by its services.

However, it does not clearly stipulate how the institute‘s services will be rendered. CARI‘s mandate connotes that it will collaborate with all actors, and will strive to develop a national agricultural research system capable of generating an innovation system for agricultural development in Liberiawhich has led to the call from many stakeholders and donors for the revitalization of CARI. Currently CARI is managed by a ―Team Leader‖ who reports directly to the Minister of Agriculture in a centralized coordination system. With a complement of 47 professional staff mostly at junior level with only 1 PhD, 18 MSc, 24 BSc and 2 BAs. The rest of the staff is low level contractors and security staff (180). CARI is organized in six programs with all reporting directly to the team Leader. Unlike many other national agricultural research institutes in Africa and elsewhere in the world, CARI does not have a Board of Governors nor does it have a functional Technical Advisory Committee.

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The Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) located at Suakoko, some 180 km north‐west of Monrovia was created in 1980 from the Central Agricultural Experiment Station (CARES) to conduct both adaptive and applied research in agriculture.Read more

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