Setting national agricultural research priorities for household food security: the Malawian experience
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This paper presents the preliminary results of a study of strategic agricultural research priorities for the Malawi Department of Agricultural Research. The analysis used a weighted criteria (scoring) approach to generate a ranking of priorities by commodity and by research area. The study is only partly completed. Four objectives for the research system were identified and weighted. Based on these objectives, eight criteria were selected and used to generate the following ranking of priorities by commodity: maize, roots/tubers, livestock, vegetables, tropical fruits, other grain legumes, sorghum/millet, groundnuts, rice, cotton, temperate fruits, oil-seeds, wheat/barley, tree nuts and coffee. It was concluded from an analysis of current research funding that, although existing funding was in general agreement with the priorities generated by this study, opportunities remain for adjusting resource allocations to agree more closely with these priorities. In fact, these priorities are presently being used to plan resource use in the Department.