Monday, 3 March 2008

Stress-tolerant rice for poor farmers in Africa

National and international rice specialists are taking part in a meeting to launch a multi-million dollar project on “Stress-tolerant rice for poor farmers in Africa and South Asia” at the Africa Rice Center (WARDA), Cotonou, Benin, 5–7 March 2008. The project, which will be carried out by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its partners, has been approved for funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through a grant to IRRI for US$19.9 million over three years.

The Africa component of this project proposal was developed by IRRI in partnership with the Africa Rice Center, which will be its main partner in implementing this component. Both IRRI and the Africa Rice Center are supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

The scientists and the Directors General of the Africa Rice Center and IRRI are attending. IRRI’s delegation includes about 20 participants from its headquarters in the Philippines and its representatives from eastern and southern Africa. Dr David Bergvinson, a program officer in Agricultural Development for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is also taking part in this meeting. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) will be represented by Dr Issoufou Kapran, Program Officer for Seed Production and Dissemination.

Other special invitees include: The Directors General of national programs in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo; Key development partners from non-governmental and private sector organizations (SG 2000 from Ethiopia, African Seed Trade Association, Songhai Center and Tunde from Benin); and local and regional farmers’ associations in West Africa (ROPPA)

AllAfrica: Africa: Scientists Meet to Launch Multi-Million Dollar Project to Step Up Rice Production
IRRI rice photos on Flickr
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