National Institute for Agronomic Study of the Congo

The National Institute for Agronomic Study of the Belgian Congo (French: National Institute for Agronomic Study of the Belgian Congo ( INEAC ) Dutch : Nationaal Instituut voor de Landbouwkunde in Belgisch Congo ( Nilco )) Was a research facility Established in Yangambi in the Belgian Congo , operating from 1933 to 1962.

INEAC was established as a successor to the Regie des Plantations de la Colonie (REPCO). [1] The Congo River Experimental Center , and along the road to 25 km (16 mi). [2]The goal of this institute is to follow a more important approach to agricultural policy and innovation and to promote the dissemination of agricultural innovations and know-how under the Congolese farmers. The creation of this institute was part of a larger ‘indigenous peasantry program’. This policy aims to modernize indigenous agriculture by assigning plots of land to individual families and providing them with government support in the form of selected seeds, agronomic advice, fertilizers, etc. The indigenous agricultural techniques were combined with new scientific discoveries, aimed at creating more efficient hybrid farming models and increasing living standards in the traditional rural communities. [3] In this way, theInstitute for Agronomic Study of the Belgian Congo had a large impact on the practical implementation of the social and economic agricultural policy of the colonial government. [4]

Initial research and policies

In the 1930s researchers at INEAC found the relationship between the tenera , dura and pisifera oil palms . [5] Oil palms have relatively low yield around Yangambi compared to coastal regions. It has a minimum mean at Yangambi of around 20 ° C (68 ° F). [6] The scientific research carried out by INEAC played an essential role in improving the supply of rubber and oil in support of the war effort during World War II . [1]

Post World War II

After the second World War the indigenous peasantry program became widely spread all over the rural parts of the Belgian Congo, based on the (economic) success of the pilot projects in the mid thirties. The Institute for Agronomic Study of the Belgian Congo also plays an important role in the implementation of the Ten Year Plan for the Economic and Social Development of the Belgian Congo (1950-1959), of which the agrarian development of the colony was one of the Cornerstones. [7] [8]

During this period, the institute studied a broad range of agricultural topics, gaining international reputation, with 32 research centers throughout the Belgian Congo and Rwanda-Urundi . [1]By 1959, the scientific research department in Yangambi was made up of divisions Climatology , Plant Physiology , Agricultural Engineering and Mechanics , Zootechnics , Hydrobiology , Agricultural economics and a diverse range of research into specific crops.


The indigenous peasantry program has been designed to increase the living conditions of the rural community, but it has been developed as a result of increasing the intensity of cultivation and soil management . However, the country program was designed to be flexible and implemented based on geographic regions and districts. The institute has also been criticized for concentrating on large-scale agriculture mainly focussed on the production of crops for export markets. [1]

Two years after independence, on 31 December 1962, the National Institute for Agronomic Study of the Belgian Congo (INÉAC) changed its name to the National Institute of Agricultural Research and Studies (INERA).

Other Research

The center developed a number of varieties of soybeans for use in different parts of the country. [9] Early-maturing varieties yielded over 1,200 kg / ha of soybeans. [10] Field trials showed that inoculation could increase yields by 80% to 300%. [11] In the 1950s INEAC researchers discovered the ‘Yangambi km 5’ ( AAA ) banana dessert . This sight yields large numbers of small fruit with an excellent taste, is productive even on poor soils and is resistant to black leaf streak disease. [2] There is some evidence that this cultivar may have originated in southern Thailand, introduced to the Kilo-Motoregion in northeastern Congo and then brought to Yangambi before World War II . [12]

Chief Executive Officers

  • 1934-1934: Pierre Ryckmans (was appointed Governor-General of the Belgian Congo later that year)
  • 1949-1962: Floribert Jurion [13] .


  1. ^ Jump up to:d A rational organization …
  2. ^ Jump up to:b De Langhe 2005 , p. 47.
  3. Jump up^ Clement, Piet (2014), “Rural development in the Belgian Congo: the late-colonial indigenous peasantry program and its implementation in the Ecuador District”, in Bulletin of the Sessions of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Overseas , Brussels, 60 (2), pp. 251-286
  4. Jump up^ Drachoussoff, Vladimir, Focan, Alexander in Hecq, Jacques (eds.), ‘Rural development in Central Africa 1908-1960 / 1962: synthesis and reflections’, King Baudouin Foundation, Brussels, 1991
  5. Jump up^ Corley & Tinker 2008, p. 23.
  6. Jump up^ Corley & Tinker 2008, p. 56.
  7. Jump up^ Drachoussoff, Vladimir, Focan, Alexander in Hecq, Jacques (eds.), ‘Rural development in Central Africa 1908-1960 / 1962: synthesis and reflections’, King Baudouin Foundation, Brussels, 1991
  8. Jump up^ Floribert Jurion and J. Henry, Can primitive farming be modernized ?, Brussels, INEAC, 1969, 455 p.
  9. Jump up^ Shurtleff & Aoyagi 2009, p. 202.
  10. Jump up^ Shurtleff & Aoyagi 2009, p. 216.
  11. Jump up^ Shurtleff & Aoyagi 2009, p. 226.
  12. Jump up^ De Langhe 2005, p. 48.
  13. Jump up^ J. Lebrun, “In Memoriam Floribert Jurion (1904-1977)”, Pedology, Belgian Society of Pedology, vol. XXVII, t. 3, 1977, p. 251-253