Friday, December 17, 2010

BADEA and AfricaRice join forces to help build Africa’s capacity in rice R&D

For the 2nd year in a row, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and AfricaRice teamed up to strengthen Africa’s capacity in integrated rice management (IRM), to bridge yield gaps in farmers’ fields and raise rice production in the region.

As part of this, two training courses – one for English-speaking countries (15-26 November) and another for French-speaking countries (6-17 December) – were organized in Benin. The courses not only provided a foundation in IRM, but also gave young national researchers an opportunity to establish research partnerships among themselves and within the international research networks early in their careers.

More than 50 researchers and extension staff, including 20 women, from 20 countries across Africa took part in this year’s BADEA-AfricaRice Training course. The participating countries comprised Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.

Explaining the importance of this course, AfricaRice Deputy Director General Dr Marco Wopereis said, “Knowledge of IRM is crucial to bridge gaps that currently exist between actual farmers’ yields and attainable yields through better crop management and to fully exploit the potential of improved varieties.”

AfricaRice’s manuals on IRM based on the participatory learning and action research (PLAR) approach developed by the Center were used by the facilitators. Participants were also exposed to AfricaRice’s training videos and radio programs.