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R&D institutions

We shall now report on those R&D institutes which we visited: the first is the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (abbreviated TPRI).

When Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda were British colonies, the colonial power established several research institutes, whose aim was to increase the production of exportable commodities. These research institutes continued to operate on an East African basis until the break-up of the Community in 1977, when the individual member nations took over the responsibility for those establishments physically located in their own country. The Tropical Pesticides Research Institute was one such institute, and its control descended to the Tanzanian government.

Having acquired an agricultural research institute of a size previously sufficient for three countries, the Tanzanian government continued to operate it at the same scale: by the same scale is meant with the same staff, but not with the same intensity of effort. As time passed and the Tanzanian government's revenues fell, relative to the needs of the expanded population, the amounts allocated to research institutes fell in line. From supporting not only the staff but a full range of activities, the Tanzanian government's contributions to TPRI reached the stage by 1985/6 where they were capable of meeting little more than the bill for wages and salaries. Almost all other activities had ceased: subscriptions to foreign journals and books were allowed to lapse, capital expenditures were minimal and current expenditures for such items as maintenance, laboratory supplies and travel were severely curtailed.

In these senses TPRI was typical of the research institutes designated for rehabilitation under the agricultural Masterplan. Under the terms of the Masterplan, 'TPRI should retain responsibility for research work in bird pests, rodents and weeds. It should also continue work on the pathology of stored products and seeds, in particular research on control of large grain borer' (ibid.: 24, 5). Other work on etymology and pathology of crops, as well as research on ticks and the tsetse fly, is scheduled to be transferred to the appropriate crop and animal research institutes. These transfers will free resources at TPRI, resources which may then be re-assigned, either at TPRI to increased work screening, registering and testing new pesticides, or to employment at other research institutes.

TPRI is not typical of Tanzanian agricultural research institutes in that it was semi-autonomous, drawing public funds and conforming generally to governmental rules and regulations but, alone of all the rest, administratively outside the Ministry of Agriculture. This status, which is confirmed in the Masterplan, enables its Director General to solicit donations from abroad; it also confers on its organization a certain flexibility and on its planning a certain autonomy, attributes which are appreciated and which lead to greater productivity.

Nonetheless, given the financial constraints under which TPRI, like the other research institutes, operates, it is very difficult for the scientists and technicians to maintain current programmes, let alone undertake research in new areas. With minimal regular contact with the outside world, either through published material or through official exchanges of personnel, the chief way in which the scientists obtain knowledge of research conducted outside TPRI is through their own personal contacts. These are broader than might be expected, for many of the former employees of TPRI have taken jobs abroad, the majority in those other African countries which devote greater amounts of money to agricultural research, the minority to research organizations in the developed countries. With their former colleagues, the scientists at TPRI maintain close ties. In addition to personal contacts, there is some information gained in attending conferences within Tanzania, for whose attendance some funds are allocated.

The existence of a research institute staffed with well-educated people and the inheritor of a large amount of previous research on the pests and diseases that afflict African agricultural commodities has been observed by foreign assistance organizations. Wishing to encourage research into pesticides, and reassured by Tanzania's acquiesence to the conditions imposed by the IMF and the World Bank, foreign donors are helping to finance research undertaken at TPRI. Table 5.11 identifies foreign donations, commencing in 1985/6, as well as Tanzanian government contributions, among TPRI's budgets for the last several years.

Tanzanian government funds are identified, under the headings of 'Recurrent' and 'Development': recurrent expenditures are those allocated to the hiring or purchase of current inputs, of which in recent years nearly 90 per cent has been for wages and salaries. Development expenditures are primarily those devoted to the acquisition of buildings and equipment; most foreign donations are also for developmental purposes. So long as foreign donations continue to be received by TPRI, its future is secure. If foreign donations continue at their present rate, TPRI may be able to rebuild its library, to re-institute the programme of advanced studies abroad for its members, purchase modern analytical equipment and increase its contacts with those who apply pesticides in agriculture.

Unlike TPRI, the Centre for Agricultural Mechanization and Rural Technology (CAMARTEC), the second research institute studied, is a creation of the Tanzanian government, with the directive to develop machinery and other artifacts useful in, and appropriate for, Tanzania's agricultural sector. Employing approximately ten engineers and 30 technicians, as well as an administrative staff of equal numbers, CAMARTEC is organized so as to undertake R&D projects, the emphasis being on development rather than research. Within each project, its activities fall into two categories, the first being the development of the technology underlying the product, and the second being the manufacture of a sufficient number of products in order to disseminate the results. The projects undertaken by CAMARTEC lie in the fields of agricultural mechanization, water supply, building construction, sanitation, rural transport and energy conservation. A typical project is the two-wheeled cart, whose specifications are that it be capable of hauling heavy agricultural produce over rough ground, that its manufacture uses materials available locally, and that its sale be at a price lower than that for imported carts. The design and construction of prototypes has occupied CAMARTEC a considerable time; the most unusual element in the design being the hub of the cart's two wheels, comprised of a basin-like plate of steel (instead of spokes) and a simple set of bearings constructed locally. Combined with used car tyres and a wooden frame, both materials available locally, and an axle constructed out of tubular steel, the cart was complete. A few finished carts have been sold locally, and as the technology improves, a larger number will be manufactured. Since CAMARTEC is located on the main railway line to the coast, physical distribution within northeastern Tanzania will be relatively inexpensive.

Table 5.11 Tanzania: budgets for the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) 1983/4-1993/4 (millions TSh)

Year Public expenditures of the government of Tanzania (current TSh) Foreign donors (current TSh) Total expenditures
Recurrent expenditures Development expenditures Total public expenditures Requests Actual (Current TSh) (Constant TSh)a
Requests Approved Actual Requests Approved Actual
1983/4 13 12 12 54 7 5 17 - - 17 45
1984/5 20 17 16 7 4 7 23 - - 23 49
1985/6 24 20 18 14 8 3 21 n.a. 6 27 46
1986/7 27 21 21 22 20 10 31 n.a. 15 46 60
1987/8 60 33 33 34 34 35 68 n.a. 1 69 69
1988/9 84 80 82 46 29 - 82 n.a. - 82 60
1989/90 161 151 151 46 10 - 151 - 7 158 90
1990/1 167 152 151 71 5 - 151 13 9 160 78
1991/2 181 185 179 115 38 32 211 6 14 225 85
1992/3 273 191 n.a. 96 41 71 260p 29 10 270p 85
1993/4 170 195 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

p Preliminary
a Current TSh converted to constant prices by the GDP deflator (Table 5.1)

Like TPRI, CAMARTEC has had some success in attracting foreign donations. These have taken the form chiefly of equipment, each foreign donor giving items manufactured in its own country. The pieces of foreign equipment are relatively simple and are divided roughly half and half between those useful in testing new products and those useful in their manufacture. A continued flow of funds from foreign donors will be necessary in order to maintain CAMARTEC's competence, and much of the success in securing these funds will depend upon the efforts of CAMARTEC's Director.

Differing markedly from TPRI and CAMARTEC, and from the two industrial research institutes still to be described, is the Village Oil Press Project. It lies outside the orbit of public research, being the creation of two American charitable bodies, Lutheran World Relief (New York) and Appropriate Technology International (Washington, DC). Operating under their benign authority, it has a tiny staff, comprising only of six persons (the Director, Lynn Schleuter; the Senior Field Manager, Dallas Granima; three Field Managers and a secretary), all of whom are talented, versatile, mobile and dedicated to the project. It concentrates on the production, sale and use of a single commodity - a cheap, portable hand-operated press for oil-bearing crops, with potentially universal application in rural communities; it devotes as much attention to the operation of the presses in the villages as to their design, manufacture and distribution (i.e. it carries out the functions of product design and promotion; market research and testing; equipment purchasing and sub-contracting; and quality control, as well as conventional R&D); and it is, by any measure, a splendid success. Its success is evident from reading its progress reports (see, e.g. Schleuter, 1993), and has been celebrated extensively in print (Hymen, 1993). The project is to be replicated in Uganda, and most likely other Sub-Saharan African countries.

Table 5.12 Tanzania: budgets for the Centre for Agricultural Mechanization and Rural Technology (CAMARTEC) 1983/4-1993/4 (millions TSh)

Year Public expenditures of the government of Tanzania (current TSh) Foreign donors Total expenditures
Recurrent expenditures Development expenditures Total governmental expenditures Requests Actual Current TSh Constant TSh at 1987 prices
Requests Approved Actual Requests Approved Actual
1983/4 4 4 4 10 25 10 14 n.a. 1 15 40
1984/5 5 4 5 4 28 4 9 n.a. 2 11 24
1985/6 13 9 7 26 8 7 14 n.a. - 14 24
1986/7 12 10 9 42 23 19 28 n.a. - 28 37
1987/8 18 13 12 52 21 21 33 n.a. n.a. 33+ 33+
1988/9 15 18 19 103 22 24 43 n.a. 21 64 46
1989/90 50 24 24 160 32 22 46 n.a. 40 86 49
1990/1 51 27 25 130 46 38 63 n.a. 40 103 50
1991/2 n.a. 31 18 n.a. 28 28 46 n.a. 69 115 43
1992/3 n.a. 41 n.a. n.a. 65 n.a. 106p n.a. n.a. 106+ 33+
1993/4 n.a. 37 n.a. n.a. 40 n.a. 77p n.a. n.a. 77+ 20+

CAMARTEC (except for foreign donations for 1991/2, for which the source is UNDP 1993, Table C.3, p. 108)
p = preliminary
+ = greater than the amount listed, by the (unknown) amounts of foreign donations

One of the Tanzanian government's two research institutes directed towards industry is the Tanzanian Industrial R&D Organization (TIRDO). Like CAMARTEC, TIRDO was established by the Tanzanian government itself, after it secured its independence. TIRDO therefore has a much shorter history than TPRI, and a more tentative place among Tanzania's public research institutes. Located in a tranquil setting outside the city of Dar es Salaam, in buildings half-completed, TIRDO is a relatively small institution with relatively little support. As can be seen from Table 5.13 the resources which TIRDO has at its disposal each year, for nearly all of industry, amount to no more than TPRI has at its disposal for research into pesticides alone. The number of industrial research projects undertaken by TIRDO is, therefore, relatively few. Like TPRI and CAMARTEC, TIRDO is dependent upon foreign donations for much of its capital expenditures; unlike these two, TIRDO's receipts from foreign bodies are very small, except for the year 1988/9. The Director of TIRDO, like his counterpart at TPRI, is permitted to approach foreign assistance bodies personally, but he has found a less encouraging welcome than have directors of the agricultural research institutes. It appears that foreign donors prefer to support R&D in agriculture rather than in industry.

The other research institute directed towards industry is the Tanzania Engineering and Manufacturing Design Organization (TEMDO). Located not in Dar es Salaam but in Arusha, TEMDO is of comparable size to TIRDO, employing a staff of 70, including 11 mechanical engineers, three draughtsmen, and 14 technicians. Its income is also comparable to TIRDO's, although half of TEMDO's is earned through the sale of wood joinery and the provision of technical designs and training for outside organizations, whereas TIRDO has no commercial undertakings. TEMDO's involvement in commerce has the merit of keeping it alert to the practicality of its R&D work.

TEMDO's budgets for the most recent 11 years are shown in Table 5.14. The amounts of foreign assistance are not available, being included within the general figures for the Ministry of Industries and Trade, but it is known that the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) has provided outside financial support, and that a German assistance agency is currently involved in negotiations over the establishment in TEMDO of educational and training programmes emphasizing the role of maintenance in Tanzanian industry, a much neglected activity (Mjema and Kundi, 1993).

This completes our brief studies of a sample of Tanzanian R&D organizations. The four public research institutes that we investigated represent a fairly substantial sample of the total in Tanzania. The industrial research organizations (TIRDO and TEMDO) and the research institute devoted to developing appropriate technology (CAMARTEC) are under the authority of the Ministry of Industry and Trade; their number is augmented by two others - the Institute of Production Innovation (attached to the University of Dar es Salaam) and the Tanzania Bureau of Standards. The pesticides research institute (TPRI) is one of many research institutes in the field of agriculture, the remainder now within the purlieu of government. There are two more public R&D institutes in the field of health, and equal numbers in natural resources and construction. As in Kenya, there is also an umbrella organization, the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), which oversees the country's R&D and helps to coordinate activities (see Goka et al. 1990: 206-314).

Table 5.13 Tanzania: budgets for the Centre for the Tanzanian Industrial Research Organization (TIRDO) 1983/4-1993/4 (millions TSh)

Year Public expenditures of the government of Tanzania (current TSh) Foreign donors Total expenditures
Recurrent expenditures Development expenditures Total public expenditures Requests Actual Current TSh Constant TSh
Requests Approved Actual Requests Approved Actual
1983/4 n.a. n.a. 3 25 - - 3 n.a. - 3 8
1984/5 n.a. 3 3 32 20 20 23 n.a. - 23 49
1985/6 n.a. 4 4 n.a. 10 13 17 n.a. 1 18 31
1986/7 n.a. 6 4 55 47 49 53 n.a. 3 56 73
1987/8 n.a. 7 8 55 33 33 41 n.a. 3 44 44
1988/9 n.a. 13 13 68 42 12 25 n.a. 56 81 59
1989/90 n.a. 21 21 77 45 45 66 n.a. 3 69 40
1990/1 n.a. 25 26 84 38 28 54 n.a. - 54 26
1991/2 n.a. 31 31 n.a. 67 n.a. 98p n.a. - 98 37
1992/3 n.a. 39 n.a. n.a. 85 n.a. 124p n.a. - 124 39
1993/4 n.a. 45 n.a. n.a. 90 n.a. n.a. n.a. - n.a. n.a.

Tanzanian Industrial Research Organization (except for 1991/2, whose source is UNDP, 1993, Table C.3, p. 115)

Table 5.14 Tanzania: budgets for the Tanzanian Engineering and Manufacturing Design Organization (TEMDO) 1983/4-1993/4 (millions TSh)

Year Public expenditures of the government of Tanzania (millions of current TSh) Foreign donors Total expenditures
Recurrent expenditures Development expenditures Total public expenditures Requests Actual Current TSh Constant TSh
Requests Approved Actual Requests Approved Actual
1983/4 n.a. 2 v2 n.a. 4 v4 v6 - - v6 v16
1984/5 n.a. 3 v3 n.a. 3 v3 v6 - - v6 v13
1985/6 n.a. 4 v4 n.a. 20 v20 v24 - - v24 v41
1986/7 n.a. 5 v5 n.a. 38 v38 v43 - - v43 v56
1987/8 n.a. 7 v7 n.a. 37 v37 v44 - - v44 v44
1988/9 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. - - n.a. n.a.
1989/90 21 10 v10 139 55 v55 v65 n.a. n.a. 65+ 37
1990/1 21 12 v12 115 48 v48 v60 n.a. n.a. 60+ 29+
1991/2 30 14 v14 184 44 v44 v58 n.a. n.a. 58+ 22
1992/3 52 18 n.a. 147 55 n.a. 73p n.a. n.a. 73+ 23
1993/4 45 19 n.a. 210 70 n.a. 89p n.a. n.a. 89+ 23

The symbols:
v signifies 'approximately'
p signifies 'preliminary'
+ signifies 'more than'

From the macro-economic statistics and from our remarks on the conduct of R&D, one would infer that R&D in Tanzania is not flourishing. Yet, two independent studies of Tanzania's relative achievements in conducting R&D suggest that Tanzania's contributions are relatively greater than our evidence indicates. Both studies are attempts to measure the output of R&D, rather than, as in our case, the inputs to R&D. The first is that of Manuel Zymelman (Zymelman, 1990). Zymelman reported the results of a study conducted at the World Bank on education in, and the pursuit of, science and technology in Sub-Saharan Africa. Combing through published research findings, a feat involving considerable effort, he was able to produce an index of scientific and technological research output. The source of the data was the Science Citation Index, published by the Institute of Scientific Information. (The Index covers eight major areas: Clinical Medicine, Bio-medical Research, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Space, Engineering and Technology, and Mathematics.) An Activity Index was calculated on the basis of the share in the total of scientific publications accruing to each country.

In the overall compilation, Tanzania stood fifth among Sub-Saharan African countries, with 4 per cent of the total. Within its total, Tanzania ranked above average in clinical medicine and biology; equal in engineering and technology; and lower than average in the other five areas. When allowance is made for its level of GDP, Tanzania excelled in R&D in clinical medicine, biology and engineering and technology; but was lower in the other areas.

The second survey of achievements in R&D was conducted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO, 1988 and 1990 as reported in Saha, 1991: 2759, Table 4). From among the 26 Sub-Saharan African countries for which data were gathered, and in both the years surveyed, 1970 and 1987, Tanzania achieved the second highest 'Technology Score', exceeded only by Angola. In UNIDO's method of measuring the overall output of science and technology - 'Lines of Engineering Production' - Tanzania again stood second, with eight 'lines' in 1970, eight also in 1980, and 13 in 1987. Again, only Angola exceeded Tanzania among Sub-Saharan African countries in the numbers of types of capital goods manufactured. These independent studies seem to agree that advances in science and technology in Tanzania are greater than economic statistics would suggest.

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