Crop Biotech Update

Partnership Aims to Enhance Capacity Building in Rice R&D

June 18, 2009

A new partnership between the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the Africa Rice Center (WARDA) aims to enhance the capacity of "change agents" of research and extension communities in sub-Saharan Africa. WARDA Director General Papa Abdoulaye Seck expressed the urgent need to boost Africa's rice sector by improving the capacity of operators at the research, extension, production, processing, and marketing levels. He pointed out that Africa has only 70 scientists per million inhabitants compared to 4380 scientists per million inhabitants in Japan.

The capacity building program complements WARDA's efforts to raise rice productivity in sub-Saharan Africa through the African Rice Initiative and the Emergency Rice Initiative launched last year in response to the food crisis. WARDA, with support from BADEA, imparted knowledge on Integrated Rice Management through hands-on training to more than 50 participants from 16 countries across the continent. The Center believes that knowledge of Integrated Rice Management (IRM) is crucial in bridging yield gaps in farmers' fields. According to WARDA, rice yields in farmers' fields can be increased by 0.5 to 2.0 tons per hectare by applying knowledge on IRM.

The original article is available at http://www.africaricecenter.org/warda/newsrel-boosting-capacity-jun09.asp