The Rice Challenge Initiative launching meeting was held in Montpellier, France, from 13 to 15 April. This four-year project, funded by the CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) and led by AfricaRice, focuses on breeding for drought tolerance in the rainfed lowland ecosystems in Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria.
The main objective is to develop cultivars possessing high yield potential in normal years and still give good yield under drought and other major stresses of each target environment. This will help sustain rice production, beyond the three target countries, in the large rainfed lowland ecosystem across Africa. Details of research activities, responsibilities of each partner, time frames and budget were discussed at the launch.