Saturday, June 26, 2010

Project launched to develop the next generation of new rice varieties for sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia


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 Apr 2010, in Kirundo Province of Burundi.

The launch was attended by scientists from IRRI, AfricaRice and 38 national research and extension partners from nine east and southern Africa countries (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, 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 sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, where poverty is prevalent and the risk of food shortage is high.

The project has the following three objectives:
  • Accelerate the development of high-impact varieties in SSA and Southeast Asia
  • Accelerate rice variety testing, approval, and dissemination in SSA and Southeast Asia
  • Contribute to building a new generation of rice breeders
To ensure delivery of products well-accepted by farmers and consumers, this project aims to establish a network of NARS breeders in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia that would constitute an Africawide Breeding Task Forces to develop the next generation of rice varieties in both regions of the world.

This project will allow IRRI and AfricaRice to rebuild rice breeding capacity at the national level in sub-Saharan Africa 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 of varietal release procedures across the regions.

The regional launch of this project in West Africa took place in Segou, Mali, 23-26 Jun 2010.