Wednesday, November 25, 2009

EU project reviewed

AfricaRice project Rice policy and technology impact on food security and poverty reduction, funded by the European Union, and implemented by Research Program 4, was reviewed and the favorable report was announced in December.

The review team commended AfricaRice for generating high level of interest for its work on identifying and quantifying factors of importance for ensuring competitiveness of African rice; communicating research results efficiently; timely production of effective policy briefs; developing policy options; enabling stakeholder participation; coordinating effectively with the national agricultural research systems; and generating effective international public goods.

Overall, the reviewers recommended that future support for the project be continued to build on the results achieved.

Friday, November 13, 2009

USAID emergency rice project takes stock of progress made in target countries

A regional workshop of the project “Emergency initiative to boost rice production in Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal,” was held in Cotonou, Benin, 9 -13 November 2009 with representatives from AfricaRice and partner institutions.

This project is led by AfricaRice in partnership with the International Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development Center (IFDC), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the national research and extension systems in target countries. The Project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The project is a short-term intervention in major rice-producing countries of sub-Saharan Africa in response to the global rice crisis in 2008. It seeks to:
  • Increase the use of high yielding rice varieties;
  • Increase the use of improved farming methods;
  • Increase the use of fertilizers through use of vouchers/coupons;
  • Assist at least 10,000 farm families in each target country;
  • Increase rice production in the four target countries by at least 30,000 tonnes by the end of the project.

The workshop discussions focused on: i) the conclusions from the monitoring tour; ii) implementation, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms at country and regional levels; and iii) the work plans for 2010. The workshop also included a side-event to train project participants in the reporting of success stories and lessons learnt relating to the project.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

AfricaRice Research Days

The Research Days function for AfricaRice was organized from 2 to 5 November. In addition to AfricaRice scientists from all locations, it had participation from senior representatives from the Center’s partner organizations. In 2009, the Center had used a new format for the research days which permitted a greater time for scientific discussions when compared to the earlier years. 

The Research Day meetings included intensive discussions on ideas and challenges related to genetic diversity and improvement; water management; weed management; integrated pest management; training and extension linkages; seed systems; learning and innovation systems; impact assessment; policy; and value chains.
The progress on scientific research activities was reviewed and action plan was drawn up for the coming year.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AfricaRice researcher wins Japan International Award

Dr Amos Onasanya, AfricaRice researcher, won the 2009 Japan International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers, on 4 November at the University of Tokyo, for his contribution to the molecular and pathotyping characterization of major rice diseases and insect pests in Africa. He was one of the three recipients of the award during 2009.

The Japan International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers is given by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Government of Japan, in recognition of the contribution of young agricultural researchers for developing technologies to improve food security and environment in developing countries.