Volume 42 Number 4
Published: June 28, 2011
Since the Asian Green Revolution, plant breeding has been seen as a core capacity in most agricultural research institutes around the world, including those in Africa. Outside some private sector breeding for hybrid maize in East and Southern Africa, plant breeding is essentially a public sector activity and over the last four decades has relied significantly on international development assistance, and so has been susceptible to shifts in donor funding for agricultural research. The performance of programmes has been affected by these trends, with the balance between the scale economies in plant breeding and the local adaptation needed to satisfy farmer demand influenced by a complex and sometimes problematic division of labour between the international agricultural research centres (IARCs) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the breeding programmes of National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs).