Biotech Updates

Rice Research in Africa Provides a Strong Case for Investment

May 4, 2012

AfricaRice Chair of the Board of Trustees Dr. Peter Matlon believed that rice research in Africa provides a strong case for investment. During the recent board meeting, results of various rice biotechnology work were presented and reviewed including rice for various stresses: salinity, drought, cold, iron toxicity, rice yellow mottle virus and rice blast, as well as component technologies to increase labor, nutrient and water productivities to close yield gaps and reduce risks in farmers' fields.

The 10-year strategic plan was also discussed which includes: (1) Evidence-based policy advocacy; (2) The establishment of ‘Rice Sector Development Hubs' to conduct proof-of-concept work with public and private sector partners to develop competitive, equitable and sustainable rice value chains tailored to market demand; (3) Focused research product development to enable sustainable intensification and diversification of rice-based systems (varieties, agronomic options, mechanization); and (4) Strengthening of the capacities of national rice research and extension communities and rice value-chain actors.

"Our ambition is to maintain high standards of excellence at all levels and to keep in mind that AfricaRice can achieve its mission only through strong national agricultural research systems and strategic partnerships worldwide in order to bring the best efforts of rice science to bear on the immense challenge of food security faced by Africa," said AfricaRice Director General Dr. Papa Abdoulaye Seck.

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