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close this bookManagement of agricultural research: A training manual. Module 7: Financial Management (1997)
close this folderSession 4. Managing a research institute with uncertain finances
close this folderCase study: Faro Arroya
close this folderAnimal research institute
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentOrganization of research
View the documentResearch farms
View the documentProblems faced by ARI
View the documentRe-orientation of research
View the documentThe meeting with the foreign visitor
View the documentWhat the institute needed
View the documentSome dilemmas

Problems faced by ARI

Since the late 1970s the institute had received very little funds for capital and development expenditure, including funds for research and development (Table 3). Funds received were just about sufficient for staff salaries. A government embargo on capital development expenditure - dating from 1983 - had brought research activities to a standstill. Even though the institute had a staff of 12 well-trained (most of them post-graduates) scientists, it was virtually impossible to carry out its research programmes. The institute had tried to generate funds on its own. It had procured farm animals - pigs, sheep, goats and cattle - basically for experimental purposes, and in the hope that the institute would be moving to its permanent quarters at Kanawaha. The animals were housed at the Alima Research Farm.

DEVELOPMENT FUNDS RECEIVED
(millions of dodes)


1986

1987

1988

1989

Construction of admin. Building

3.00

5.90

10.00

18.00

Electrification of animal and poultry houses

0.19




Rehabilitation of animal house and cattle kraa

0.30




Research

1.51

2.20

6.00

19.00

For asbestos cement water pipes


4.79


5.00

Office equipment



2.00


Farm office building




6.00

Feedmill and feed barn building




9.00

Furniture for admin. building




10.00

Laboratory building




15.00

TOTAL

5.00

12.89

18.00

82.00

Notes: No funds were received prior to 1986. Committed funds but not yet released. There was often considerable difference between funds committed and funds actually released.

These animals, as well as their products, were sold to the public and generated some revenue for ARI. Although the institute had been helping out the animal industry, lack of equipment prevented it from doing organized consulting work for the industry, which would have been a source of revenue. Since ARI did not have operational equipment, the scientists had to take the various raw materials requiring analysis to Dongal University at Lefors or the Dongal Standards Board, where better facilities existed.

Flight of the scientists

The early 1980s were a difficult period for the country, as well as for ARI. The country was passing through a period of extreme economic crisis. Research had no priority whatsoever and the research institutes were barely surviving. Research activities were at a standstill except in those institutes which had externally funded projects. Since ARI had no such project, it was starved of funds and other support services.

This unpleasant state of affairs had caused a good number of top class scientists to quit for greener pastures abroad. The full-time director, Mr. Zardori, left in the mid-1970s. Udaga Kozani then became the acting director, but he too left, in 1983. However, they had both of them tried to get buildings and laboratories constructed, and had left when they realized that they were unlikely to succeed in their efforts in the near future. Faro Arroya became the acting director in 1983, when the then acting director, Kozani, went on leave. Since then Arroya had been the acting director.

In the following years, eight more scientists left the institute. Those who stayed behind perhaps could not get better jobs or were committed to stay for whatever reason. They were all hoping that things would improve in the future and that funds would be available for research. After all, the institute's work had been highly regarded all over the Azarican continent. Regrettably, things actually got worse.

The institute presented a budget proposal to the Ministry of Finance every year. It contained a catalogue of what the institute required. Price quotations had to be attached to the proposal. In the initial years the potential suppliers provided these quotations with enthusiasm; subsequently reluctantly; and eventually did not even respond to enquiries. Obviously, the institute had not bought anything all these years even though it was seeking quotations year after year.