IRRI and AfricaRice jointly launched the Japan-funded project on ‘Developing the next generation of new rice varieties for sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia’. The eastern and southern African launch of this project took place on 24 April, in Kirundo Province of Burundi.
The launch was attended by scientists from IRRI, AfricaRice and 38 national research and extension partners from nine eastern and southern Africa countries (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda).
The overall aim of the project is to accelerate the development and deployment of the next generation of elite rice varieties for major production systems in SSA and Southeast Asia. To ensure the development and delivery of products (rice varieties) well-accepted by farmers and consumers, this project aims to establish a network of NARS breeders.
The project will allow IRRI and AfricaRice to rebuild rice breeding capacity at the national level in SSA and Southeast Asia, and pursue a systematic collaborative approach to rice breeding that will greatly shorten the time needed to develop new varieties. Delivery of varieties will also be accelerated through streamlining and harmonizing varietal release procedures across the regions.