Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New videos on Weed management

Weeds are important constraints for rice production. Effective weed management can increase yields by more than 50%, but usually takes a lot of time. As a farmer it is therefore worthwhile investing in labor-saving weed management tools. 

With support from USAIDAfricaRice has produced a  2-DVD Pack called  ‘Weed Management – Farmer-to-Farmer Instruction Videos on Effective and Labor-Saving Weed Management in Lowland Rice’. The 2-DVD pack contains four videos.  These videos are available in English, French, Portugese, Kiswahili, and Dagbani languages. The following videos in English and French can be watched online:


The DVD also has the technical drawings of different rotary weeder types, line-makers for transplanting and a practical manual on integrated crop management for rice, called PLAR-IRM. 

For copies of the ‘Weed Management’ videos,  please contact Jonne Rodenburg (j.rodenburg at cgiar.org).


AfricaRice has also produced a series of farmer-learning videos on improved rice production methods. These videos are available in several African languages in addition to English and French. 
Click on the following language links to watch rice videos online: 




Monday, November 25, 2013

A tribute to agricultural research and partnership in Africa: Dr Papa Seck receives France’s ‘Légion d’honneur’


The insignia of the Chevalier of Légion d’honneur – France’s highest distinction –was conferred on Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck  by Madame Kuster-Ménager, Ambassador of France in Benin, in a brief ceremony in Cotonou on 22 November 2013.

Dr Seck was until recently Director General of the Benin-based Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice). He is currently the Senegal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment.

Established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Légion d’honneur honors individuals for exemplary service and distinguished achievements.  Dr Seck received this prestigious award for his outstanding contribution and dedication to agricultural research and development in Africa.

Emphasizing Dr Seck’s high professional competence, his human qualities and his strong commitment to food security in Africa, the Ambassador remarked, “He is a well-known personality in the scientific world and is attentive to Africa’s needs and its realities.”

The Ambassador praised Dr Seck’s spirit of partnership and his love for – and mastery of – the French language. She highlighted that Dr Seck has significantly strengthened the scientific collaboration between African, French and international research institutions during his leadership of the Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute (ISRA) and subsequently of AfricaRice.

She gave the example of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), a CGIAR Research Program, which was launched in 2010, in which French research organizations such as the Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD) and the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) are actively involved along with national and international research organizations.

“I feel deeply honored,” said Dr Seck, expressing his strong conviction that Africa’s agricultural development can be possible only through strong science and partnership.

A specialist in agricultural strategy and policy analysis, Dr Seck is a passionate advocate of the continent’s potential to become one of the world’s largest granaries in the coming decades as it has enough land and water resources, agro-ecological diversity, human capital and technologies.

He is a member of the Senegal Academy of Sciences and Technologies (ANSTS), the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

“This recognition is a tribute to the African scientific community and the cooperation between France and Africa,” Dr Seck stated. “I therefore share this honor with my colleagues of ISRA, AfricaRice, ANSTS, AAS, the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), CIRAD, IRD and the CGIAR Consortium.

AfricaRice interim Director General Dr Adama Traoré remarked, “This is a proud moment for AfricaRice and all its partners, including the national agricultural research systems of Africa and all the members of GRiSP.”


AfricaRice is an intergovernmental association of 25 African member countries and one of the 15 international agricultural research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium. AfricaRice leads GRiSP activities in Africa.

Un tribut à la recherche agricole et au partenariat en Afrique : Dr Papa Seck reçoit la Légion d’honneur de France


La médaille de Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur – la plus haute distinction française – a été décernée à Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck par Madame Kuster-Ménager, Ambassadrice de France près le Bénin, lors d’une brève cérémonie le 22 novembre 2013 à Cotonou.

Dr Seck, qui était jusqu’à récemment Directeur général du Centre du riz pour l’Afrique basé au Bénin (AfricaRice), est actuellement ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Équipement rural du Sénégal.

Créée par Napoléon Bonaparte en 1802, la Légion d’honneur honore les personnes pour services exemplaires et accomplissements distingués. Dr Seck a reçu cette prestigieuse distinction pour sa contribution et son dévouement exceptionnels à la recherche et au développement agricoles en Afrique.

Insistant sur la haute compétence professionnelle de Dr Seck, ses qualités humaines et son engagement fort pour la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique, l’Ambassadrice a fait remarquer : « C’est une personnalité bien connue du monde scientifique, à l’écoute de l’Afrique et de ses réalités ».

L’Ambassadrice a fait l’éloge de l’esprit de partenariat de Dr Seck et de son amour pour – et de sa maîtrise de – la langue française. Elle a souligné que Dr Seck a renforcé de façon significative la collaboration scientifique entre les institutions de recherche africaines, françaises et internationales lorsqu'il était Directeur général de l'Institut sénégalais de recherches agricoles (ISRA) et subséquemment d’AfricaRice.

Elle a cité l’exemple du Partenariat mondial de la science rizicole (GRiSP), un programme de recherche du CGIAR qui a été lancé en 2010, dans lequel les organisations françaises telles que le Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD) et l’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) collaborent activement avec les organisations de recherche nationales et internationales.

« Je suis profondément honoré, » a affirmé Dr Seck en réitérant sa forte conviction que le développement agricole de l’Afrique est possible à travers une science et un partenariat forts.

Spécialiste en politiques et stratégies agricoles, Dr Seck est un fervent défenseur du potentiel de l’Afrique à devenir l’un des plus grands greniers du monde dans les décennies à venir, car le continent dispose de suffisamment de terres et de ressources en eaux, d’une diversité agro-écologique, des technologies et du capital humain requis.

Dr Seck est membre de l’Académie nationale des sciences et des technologies du Sénégal (ANSTS), de l’Académie Africaine des Sciences (AAS) et de l’Académie mondiale des sciences (TWAS).

« Cette reconnaissance est un tribut à la communauté scientifique africaine et à la coopération entre la France et l’Afrique, » a affirmé Dr Seck. « Je souhaite donc partager cet honneur avec mes collègues de l’ISRA, d’AfricaRice, de l’ANSTS, de l’AAS, de l’Institut national de recherche agricole (INRA) de France, du CIRAD, de l’IRD, et du Consortium du CGIAR. »

Le Directeur général par intérim d’AfricaRice Dr Adama Traoré a déclaré : « Il s’agit là d’un moment de fierté pour AfricaRice et tous ses partenaires, y compris les systèmes nationaux de recherche agricole d’Afrique et tous les membres du GRiSP. »
AfricaRice est une association intergouvernementale de 25 États membres et également un des 15 Centres internationaux de recherche agricole membres du Consortium du CGIAR. AfricaRice dirige les activités du GRiSP en Afrique.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Realizing Africa's Rice Promise: New CABI-AfricaRice book released

Rice has become a strategic and political crop in many African countries. The hikes in rice prices since 2007 have shown the vulnerability of many African countries that depend on the world market for rice imports and the need to boost Africa's domestic production.

Realizing Africa's Rice Promise’ – published jointly by CABI and AfricaRice and edited by Marco C.S. Wopereis, David E. Johnson, Nourollah Ahmadi, Eric Tollens and Abdulai Jalloh – provides a comprehensive overview of the rice sector in Africa and the ongoing rice research and development activities in the region.

The book discusses challenges and opportunities related to sustain ably increasing rice production and rice productivity; enhancing rice quality and marketing; promoting conducive policies for smallholder and agribusiness development; and strengthening impact-oriented rice research, extension and knowledge management.

It also indicates  priorities for action on how to realize Africa's rice promise, i.e. the notion that Africa has sufficient land and water resources to produce enough rice to feed its own population and, in the long term, generate export revenues.

The analyses and case studies presented in this book will be a valuable resource for researchers, development agents from public and private sectors, rice value-chain actors and policy makers concerned with ‘Realizing Africa's Rice Promise’. For specific topics in this book, visit www.AfricaRice.org/rice-promise.

‘Realizing Africa's Rice Promise’ was released during the 3rd Africa Rice Congress 2013 in Yaoundé, Cameroon in October 2013. For copies, please contact CABI Bookshop.

Monday, November 4, 2013

FAO DG pledges to work with AfricaRice to support rice strategies for the future

FAO Director General Dr José Graziano da Silva visits AfricaRice, Cotonou, Benin

Congratulating the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) for its commitment to improving food security in Africa, Dr José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food andAgriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), stated during his visit to the Center, “We wish to join our efforts with AfricaRice to support rice strategies for the future.”

“Rice is a staple food in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America where two thirds of the world’s hungry people live,” the FAO Director General remarked. Highlighting the major challenges facing rice production, such as water scarcity and salinity, which are predicted to increase because of climate change, he proposed that FAO could be a partner, particularly in knowledge on policy advice.



After extending a warm welcome to Dr Graziano da Silva, AfricaRice Interim Director General Dr Adama Traoré, said that FAO and AfricaRice have been closely collaborating in several areas, such as the collection and conservation of rice genetic resources, the development of rice seed systems, NERICA dissemination efforts and the Emergency Rice Initiative in Africa after the 2008 food crisis.

“The most recent example of partnership was the successful co-organization of the 3rd Africa Rice Congress that was held in Cameroon from 21-24 October 2013,” Dr Traoré said.

The Congress recommendations specifically address the need for FAO to play a more prominent role in stimulating national, regional and global partnerships to develop Africa’s rice sector, as part of the efforts of the Coalition of African RiceDevelopment (CARD) and under the overall umbrella of the Comprehensive AfricaAgriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

The FAO delegation had a guided tour of the experimental fields and the rice genebank at AfricaRice. The visit reaffirmed the strong links between FAO and AfricaRice. “The visit despite the short time was very useful to demonstrate the commitment of the researchers and all staff to support rice productivity increase, especially in the Sahel. I hope that our partnerships will improve in the future for achieving food security for all,” Dr Graziano da Silva observed.