Thursday, July 21, 2016

First ASI rice thresher built in Liberia unveiled by Agriculture Minister

An improved rice thresher called “ASI” built by local small-scale manufacturers during a 3-week training workshop was unveiled by the Honorable Minister of Agriculture of Liberia Dr Moses Zinnah in Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia, at the closing ceremony of the workshop on 17 July 2016.

The training workshop brought together 26 local small-scale manufacturers selected from all counties of Liberia. The workshop was jointly organized by AfricaRice and the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) as part of the Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization (SAPEC) project with support from the African Development Bank.

The trainees were able to build four ASI threshers during the workshop, which were displayed at the closing ceremony. The performance of the threshers during the demonstration was highly appreciated.

The closing ceremony, which was chaired by the Minister of Agriculture, was attended by Government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, partners from the development and donor organizations including FAO, the World Bank, WFP and USAID. It was well covered by the local and national media.

Hailing the success of the training workshop, AfricaRice Country Representative Dr Inoussa Akintayo said, “Many partners, including FAO and USAID, have promised to join AfricaRice in the promotion of this improved technology across the country.”

He thanked the Liberian government for the strong support to this initiative, demonstrated by two visits made by the President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during the workshop to encourage the trainees.

Dr Akintayo pointed out the need for improved post-harvest technology for modernizing rice production in Liberia, such as the ASI thresher, since manual rice threshing is labor-intensive, back-breaking and inefficient, leading to significant post-harvest crop losses.

ASI reduces labor requirements, speeds up the post-harvest process, allows production of grains with less damage, and increases the marketability of local rice.

The ASI thresher was developed in Senegal by AfricaRice and its partners based on a prototype from Asia. It is the most widely used thresher in the Senegal River Valley. Variations on ASI have been released subsequently in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Cameroon and Chad.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

BMZ-AfricaRice Green Innovation Center transforms young professionals into agricultural service providers

Forty-three young agricultural professionals attended a training course in the delivery of advisory and technical services in Bohicon, Benin, from 27 June to 1 July 2016.

The training was organized by a project of the ‘Green Innovation Center’ set up at AfricaRice research station in Benin with support from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of its special initiative ‘One World, No Hunger’.

The trainees are among the first batches of young service providers, who will help the project to collaborate with 266 farmer groups from 173 districts across Benin. The project expects to benefit about 50,000 farming families through these service providers.

The project has three main objectives:
  1. To make agricultural innovations available to rural farming communities
  2. To train and then employ young, unemployed persons to transfer innovation, knowledge and know-how within the rural communities
  3. To help the country’s agricultural colleges to provide training to young people and improve colleges’ access to innovations and training material

The trained service providers will be paid for the different agricultural services that they will provide to rural communities. They will help collect data and identify agricultural best practice as well as opportunities for innovation. In the process, the service providers will learn to run their own rural enterprises.

The data collected by service providers will indicate the need for other services responding to farmers’ needs, such as training courses and technology transfers from research to farmers to improve their livelihoods. In this way, the project will improve the interaction between farmers and researchers and will ensure that solutions provided by researchers will meet farmers’ needs

The training in Bohicon included hands-on session on computers, discussions and field visits to test innovations, data collection tools and procedures. At the end of the course, each trainee received a certificate.

The feedback on the training session was quite positive. For example, Isabelle Lissava, one of the trainees, commented, “The training corresponds well to the reality of the field.” Donan G E Kossou felt that there was total mastery of the various parameters of the training and Casimir O D Guidigan observed that the training had significantly strengthened his ability to collect data.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

AfricaRice appoints new Deputy Director General-Director of Research for Development

The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) is pleased to announce the appointment of  Dr Etienne Duveiller as the new Deputy Director General-Director of Research for Development (DDG-DR4D), following an extensive global search and recruitment process. He will assume his new position on 1 September 2016.

Dr Duveiller, a Belgian national, has more than 30 years of experience across Asia, Latin America and Africa in international agricultural research for development, project development and implementation, capacity building and institutional development. 

With a strong interest in sustainable development, he has led and managed multidisciplinary teams of scientists and is passionate about collaborating with national agricultural research institutes, advanced research institutes, development agencies, farmers’ organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and donors.

Dr Duveiller has been a staff member at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) since 1987, holding progressive leadership responsibilities. Currently, he is CIMMYT’s Regional Representative for Asia and Director of Research for South Asia, based in India. 

He was Advisor to CIMMYT Director General during the early development phase of the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), a collaborative effort involving CIMMYT and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Prior to that, he was Associate Director of CIMMYT Global Wheat Program, in Mexico.

Before joining CIMMYT, from 1984-1986, Dr Duveiller was a Rice Pathologist at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium and  at the Institut des sciences agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), Burundi.

Dr Duveiller has a solid track record of peer review publications and book chapters and has participated in several international scientific committees.

He obtained his MSc degree in Crop Sciences (with high honors) in 1980, Post-graduate Diploma in Studies on Developing Countries (with honors) in 1981, and PhD in Agricultural Sciences (with highest honors) in 1992 from UCL. His doctoral thesis was titled “Toward management of bacterial leaf streak of wheat and triticale.”

At AfricaRice, Dr Duveiller succeeds former DDG-DR4D Dr Marco Wopereis, who left AfricaRice after eight years of exemplary service to join the World Vegetable Center as Director General in April 2016. 

Thanking the search committee and staff, AfricaRice Director General Dr Harold Roy-Macauley said, “Please join me in congratulating Dr Duveiller on his new appointment. We are excited by the wealth of experience and science leadership skills that he brings to AfricaRice, which will help build on the Center’s past successes and provide strategic leadership to our research agenda in order to make it even more vibrant and effective.”

AfricaRice is a CGIAR Research Center – part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future. It is also an intergovernmental association of African member countries.

AfricaRice nomme un nouveau Directeur général adjoint et Directeur de la recherche pour le développement

Le Centre du riz pour l’Afrique (AfricaRice) a le plaisir d’annoncer la nomination de Dr Etienne Duveiller comme le nouveau Directeur général adjoint et Directeur de la recherche pour le développement (DGA-DR4D) suite à un processus de recherche extensive et de recrutement au niveau mondial. Il prendra ses nouvelles fonctions le 1er septembre 2016.

Dr Duveiller, de nationalité belge, a plus de 30 années d’expérience à travers l’Asie, l’Amérique latine et l’Afrique dans le domaine de la recherche agricole internationale pour le développement, de la formulation et de la mise en œuvre des projets, du renforcement des capacités et du développement institutionnel. 

Avec un fort intérêt pour le développement durable, il a dirigé et géré des équipes pluridisciplinaires de chercheurs et est passionné par la collaboration avec les instituts nationaux de recherche agricole, les instituts de recherche avancée, les organisations de développement, les organisations paysannes, les organisations non gouvernementales, le secteur privé et les donateurs.

Dr Duveiller a été un membre du personnel du Centre international d’amélioration du maïs et du blé (CIMMYT) depuis 1987, où il a gravi progressivement les échelons en occupant des postes de direction. Actuellement, il est le Représentant régional de CIMMYT pour l’Asie et Directeur de la recherche pour l’Asie du Sud, basé en Inde. 

Il était le Conseiller du Directeur général de CIMMYT pendant la première phase de développement de l’Institut Borlaug pour l’Asie du Sud (BISA), un effort collaboratif impliquant le CIMMYT et le Conseil indien pour la recherche agricole (ICAR). Avant cela, il était Directeur associé du Programme mondial du blé au CIMMYT, au Mexique.

Avant de rejoindre le CIMMYT, de 1984 à 1986, Dr Duveiller a été pathologiste du riz à l’Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgique et à l’Institut des sciences agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), Burundi.

Dr Duveiller a de nombreuses publications revues par les pairs et des chapitres dans des livres à son actif. Il a siégé dans plusieurs comités scientifiques internationaux.

Il a obtenu son MSc en phytotechnie avec mention très bien en 1980, son certificat d’études supérieures en Études sur les pays en développement avec mention bien en 1981 et son PhD en sciences agricoles avec la plus haute distinction en 1992 de l’UCL. Sa thèse de doctorat s’intitulait « Vers la gestion de la maladie des stries bactériennes du blé et de la triticale ».

À AfricaRice, Dr Duveiller succède à l’ancien DGA-DR4D Dr Marco Wopereis, qui a quitté AfricaRice après huit ans de services exemplaires pour rejoindre le World Vegetable Center(le Centre mondial des légumes) comme Directeur général en avril 2016. 

Remerciant le comité de sélection et le personnel, le Directeur général d’AfricaRice Dr Harold Roy-Macauley a dit, « Veuillez vous joindre à moi pour féliciter Dr Duveiller pour sa nouvelle nomination. Nous sommes heureux de la grande expérience et des capacités de leadership scientifique qu’il apporte à AfricaRice, ce qui va nous aider à nous appuyer sur les succès passés du Centre et donner un leadership stratégique à notre programme de recherche afin de le rendre plus effectif et efficace. »

AfricaRice est un Centre de recherche du CGIAR – un partenariat mondial de la recherche agricole pour un futur sans faim. AfricaRice est aussi une association intergouvernementale composée de pays membres africains.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

National scientists trained in scientific writing through WAAPP Sierra Leone

As part of the implementation of the World Bank West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program in Sierra Leone (WAAPP-1C SL) and the requirements for developing high caliber agricultural scientists, training in scientific writing and editing needs to be advanced to enable the scientists to successfully write and publish research articles.

To address this need, a group training workshop on ‘Writing agricultural research papers for publication in scientific journals’ was conducted by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) within the  WAAPP-1C SL framework at the Rokupr Agricultural Research Center (RARC), Sierra Leone, from 27 June to 2 July 2016.

AfricaRice is assisting in the implementation of the WAAPP-1C SL relating to the rice sector, particularly in capacity building of researchers, technical support and seed issues.

Twenty-three scientists, including 22 from RARC and one from SLARI headquarters participated in this workshop. The training was conducted by Prof. Anthony Youdeowei, an international consultant, with support from Dr Olupomi Ajayi, AfricaRice Country Representative in Sierra Leone and Rice Research Coordinator under WAAPP-1C SL.

The interactive workshop, which included theoretical and practical sessions, covered the following topics:
  • Importance of communicating the results of agricultural research 
  • Avenues for publishing results of agricultural research and typology of agricultural research papers
  • Process in writing research articles 
  • Scientific style and effective use of. English 
  • Choosing a journal in which to publish
  • Basic elements of a scientific research paper
  • Editorial and publishing process
  • Illustrating technical papers
  • Using posters for communicating agricultural research results
  • Preparing manuscripts for submission to journal editors
  • Using tables and illustrations to present research results
  • Group practical work
  • Presentation of draft manuscripts by participants

As an immediate output of the training, manuscripts of articles were presented by participants and collectively reviewed. Plans were made to complete the cycle of preparation and submission of the articles to appropriate journals before the end of 2016 with continued support from AfricaRice.

Participants rated the training as effective and relevant and expressed their determination to use the knowledge gained during the training to improve their publication records. The Director General of SLARI and Director of RARC were delighted with the training and appreciated the contributions of WAAPP-1C SL and AfricaRice.

Highlighting the strong need for such training programs, Prof. Youdeowei said that agricultural research scientists in West Africa must develop the culture of writing and communicating their research results in order to facilitate the effective dissemination and use of research outputs.

“However, recent reviews indicate that agricultural scientists in African countries as well as in other developing countries continue to experience considerable difficulties in writing and publishing the results of their research in scientific journals,” he added. “The capacity of our scientists to write and publish research articles in high quality journals needs to be strengthened through effective training.” 

Monday, July 4, 2016

AfricaRice and CARI conduct a training workshop on manufacturing of ASI rice thresher in Liberia

Scene from the launching ceremony of the
AfricaRice-CARI training workshop on
manufacturing of ASI rice thresher in Liberia.
More than 20 participants, selected from all 15 counties of Liberia, are attending a 3-week training course in Gbarnga, Bong County, on the manufacturing of the ASI thresher, developed by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice). The course is jointly organized by AfricaRice and the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) as part of the Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization (SAPEC) project, which is being implemented by AfricaRice with support from the African Development Bank. Local authorities from Bong County, a high-level delegation from the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture, CARI Director, AfricaRice Country Representative Dr Inoussa Akintayo, SAPEC project scientists and representatives from the private sector attended the launching of the workshop on 27 June 2016.

Related link : Africa Rice, Partners Training 20 To Build Modern Rice Thresher in Daily Observer