Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New video on AfricaRice GEM rice parboiling technology

A video on the improved GEM parboiling rice system, which has started to make a difference in the lives of over 450 women rice parboilers in the Glazoué rice hub in Benin, has been produced. 

AfricaRice has developed and established the GEM system in Glazoué using an innovation platform approach along the rice value chain thanks to the project "Support to Agricultural Research for strategic crops in Africa" (SARD-SC) with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Appropriate training has allowed women to explore the GEM method and its advantages that include the following: 
• Reduction of post-harvest losses; 
• Parboiling a large quantity of rice in a limited period of time; and 
• Improving the quality of rice that better meets consumer demands. 

The innovation platform approach has promoted the creation of good business relations between the various stakeholders in the rice value chain by bringing together all the stakeholders.

As a result, rice consumers are progressively being attracted to the locally produced parboiled rice in Glazoué, leading to increase in incomes of women parboilers. In addition to the beneficiaries from Glazoué rice hub, the training included women processors from Malanville in northern Benin and 10 young entrepreneurs.

This video is produced by AfricaRice and SARD-SC.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

AfricaRice honored by FAO for outstanding contributions to food security and sustainable agriculture in Africa

The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) received the 70th anniversary commemorative medal of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for outstanding contributions and remarkable collaboration in support of FAO’s mission.

On behalf of the FAO Director General, the FAO Representative in Côte d’Ivoire Mr Germain Dasylva handed over the medal and the commemorative publication “70 YEARS OF FAO 1945-2015” to the AfricaRice Director General Dr HaroldRoy-Macauley at a simple award ceremony held on 14 December 2015 at the FAO Office in Abidjan.

“We are very pleased to announce that AfricaRice was selected for this award based on a rigorous and competitive process,” stated Mr Dasylva. Highlighting the important work of AfricaRice, he gave the example of the emergency projects in Côte d’Ivoire carried out from 2006 to 2012, where seed of improved rice varieties developed by AfricaRice were distributed by FAO to vulnerable households.

The award ceremony was attended by FAO and AfricaRice representatives as well as by the Director General of Scientific Research and Innovation, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Prof. Séraphin Kati-Coulibaly, who is also AfricaRice Board Member.

Gratefully accepting the award on behalf of AfricaRice and its 25 member States, Dr Roy-Macauley said that AfricaRice considers FAO as a strategic development partner in its quest to realize Africa’s huge rice potential to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in the continent.

“We are convinced that Africa has the human, physical and economic resources to produce enough quality rice in a sustainable manner to feed itself and in the long run to export to other regions,” reiterated Dr Roy-Macauley.

He explained that to achieve this goal more attention needs to be paid to improving the entire value chain. AfricaRice is developing a business model around this concept based on the solid experience of Côte d’Ivoire and other leading countries in the region.

Both Mr Dasylva and Dr Roy-Macauley referred to the COP21 climate agreement and its relevance for Africa, which is most vulnerable to climate change.

“AfricaRice is increasingly putting emphasis on the development of climate-smart and gender-sensitive technologies for a productive, resilient rice sector in Africa, based on a sustainable management of natural resources,” Dr Roy-Macauley said.

He added that efforts are also being put on rice innovation that will respond to the creation of employment and incomes especially for women and youth.

Speaking on the different institutional strengths of FAO and AfricaRice to make a more significant contribution to Africa’s food security needs in terms of rice, Dr Roy-Macauley said that FAO has vast networks, strong technical expertise and long-term commitment to rice research and development in Africa.

AfricaRice and FAO are actively participating in several important initiatives such as the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD). Moreover, the Declaration of the Third Africa Rice Congress held in October 2013 requested FAO to stimulate national, regional and global partnerships to help develop Africa's rice sector.

Dr Roy-Macauley mentioned that discussions during his recent meeting with the FAO Director General focused on the need for strong demonstration and visibility of the partnership efforts.

“That is why AfricaRice and FAO are especially conceptualizing the organization of an African Heads of State summit in 2016, which we are convinced will play a critical role in boosting rice sector development, in cross-cutting areas, and in particular related to the policy domain,” explained Dr Roy-Macauley.

Congratulating AfricaRice for the FAO award, Prof. Kati-Coulibaly said that this sends out a strong signal of encouragement to the Center to continue in its efforts to help African countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, attain their ambition of rice self-sufficiency. “Côte d’Ivoire needs the strong support of both FAO and AfricaRice.” 

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

AfricaRice sets dates for 2016 Science Week and GRiSP-Africa Forum

AfricaRice is pleased to announce that its 2016 Science Week and Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP)-Africa Forum will be held, 1-5 February 2016, at its regional center in Cotonou, Benin.

The Science Week serves as the annual review, reflection and planning event for the Center and its research and development partners from around the world. It is held under the framework of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), a CGIAR Research Program on rice.

International and national rice research and development partners from the public and private sectors, including representatives of national research and extension programs of about 30 African countries are expected to participate in this event.

The main objectives of the 2016 AfricaRice Science Week and GRiSP-Africa Forum are to discuss results obtained in 2015 and carry out effective and efficient planning of rice research-for-development (R4D) activities in 2016.

In addition to updates on GRiSP-Africa R4D activities and meetings of the Africa-wide Rice Task Forces and the Rice Sector Development Hubs, the Science Week’s program will include among others brainstorming sessions on improved seed delivery, long-term agronomic trials related to soil fertility management,  knowledge sharing  and innovation platforms in rice value chains.

AfricaRice a fixé les dates de la Semaine scientifique 2016 et du Forum GRiSP-Afrique

AfricaRice a le plaisir d’annoncer que sa Semaine scientifique 2016 et le Forum du Partenariat mondial de la science rizicole (GRiSP)-Afrique se tiendront du 1er au 5 février 2016 dans sa station régionale de Cotonou au Bénin.

La Semaine scientifique est un événement de revue annuelle, de réflexion et de planification pour le Centre et ses partenaires de la recherche et du développement dans le monde entier. Elle se tient dans le cadre du Partenariat mondial de la science rizicole (GRiSP), un Programme de recherche du CGIAR sur le riz.

Les partenaires internationaux et nationaux de recherche et de développement rizicoles des secteurs public et privé, y compris les représentants des programmes nationaux de recherche et de vulgarisation de près de 30 pays africains devraient prendre part à cet événement.

Les principaux objectifs de la Semaine scientifique 2016 d’AfricaRice et du Forum GRiSP-Afrique sont les suivants : 1) discuter des résultats obtenus en 2015 et 2) faire une planification effective et efficiente des activités de recherche rizicole pour le développement (R4D) en 2016.

Outre le point sur les activités de R4D du GRiSP-Afrique et les réunions des Groupes d’action rizicoles à l’échelle de l’Afrique et des Pôles de développement du secteur rizicole, le programme de la Semaine scientifique inclut entre autres des sessions de brainstorming sur la livraison des semences améliorées, les essais agronomiques à long terme liés à la gestion de la fertilité des sols, le partage des connaissances et les plateformes d’innovation dans les chaînes de valeur du riz. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

AfricaRice App now available on Apple iTunes

“AfricaRice” App is now available for download for free through the iTunes App Store

Additionally, in your App store you can also locate the app through search terms such as “AfricaRice”.

Available for iOS platform, this App will provide users with easier access to current updates and latest information on jobs, news, publications, videos, photos and podcasts.   It has links to AfricaRice social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and a customized newspaper built from articles, blog posts, videos and photos selected by AfricaRice and CGIAR Consortium relating to agricultural research and development.

“AfricaRice” App is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and it requires iOS 7.1 or later. The mobile phone application uses both the features of a smartphone and internet connectivity.

Download the App from iTunes App Store  or just type www.africarice.org/mobile  on any mobile browser and then save to bookmarks.

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