Friday, April 24, 2009

Helping African agriculture adapt to climate change

As part of a multi-partnership project led by the University of Hohenheim on “Developing rice and sorghum crop adaptation strategies for climate change in vulnerable environments in Africa (RISOCAS),” a workshop was organized in Cotonou, Benin, 16-17 April, to evaluate the results from the first year.

The main objective of this project is to deliver coping strategies for crop adaptation to changing climatic conditions, along with tools and methodologies enabling stakeholders to develop such strategies further, or to apply them to other crops or environments.

The project focuses on rainfed rice and sorghum and irrigated rice, which are three of the most important staple small-grain cereals in sub-Saharan Africa. For each of the three target crops and ecosystems, sets of valuable physiological and morphological traits for breeding will be delivered to breeders, along with suitable selection tools.

The project is jointly carried out by the University of Hohenheim and Africa Rice Center in partnership with the Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD); Université Gaston Berger, Senegal, Centre national de la recherche appliquée au développement rural (FOFIFA), Madagascar and the Institut d’économie rurale (IER), Mali.

Attached to the workshop, a training course about modeling was held, 20-24 April, to train RISOCAS project members and invited guests on existing models which will be used during later project phases.
In total, 17 participants attended the project workshop and 22 attended the training course, with a considerable number attending both workshops.