ROCARIZ - the multi-country rice research network in West and Central Africa – won the Outstanding Partnership Award at the 2008 Annual General Meeting of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), 1-5 December 2008, in Maputo, Mozambique. The award was jointly received by the Chair and present Coordinator of ROCARIZ, which is hosted by the Africa Rice Center (WARDA). The former coordinator is present FARA collaborator Sidi Sanyang.
ROCARIZ was singled out for “its decentralized, issue-driven task force approach” that has enabled it to successfully foster a high level of national involvement in collaborative research to improve rice productivity in both rainfed and irrigated systems in West and Central Africa.
“ROCARIZ has not only strengthened the rice R&D capacity of our national partners, but has also helped the Africa Rice Center attain critical mass in areas where alone it would not be possible,” said Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck, Director General, Africa Rice Center.
The West and Central Africa Rice Research and Development Network – generally referred to by its French acronym ROCARIZ (Reséau Ouest et Centre Africain du riz) – aims to link rice stakeholders in West and Central Africa in order to generate improved and relevant rice technologies, and facilitate their rapid transfer to users by enhancing the capacity of NARES for participatory rice research planning, technology generation, evaluation, and transfer.
ROCARIZ was created in 2000 following the decision taken by WARDA’s National Experts Committee (Committee of National Agricultural Research Institute Directors), WECARD/CORAF, USAID, and WARDA to merge the WARDA Task Forces and the CORAF Rice Network into a unique rice research and development network in West and Central Africa.
ROCARIZ has more than 150 national scientists today from 21 West and Central African countries and international scientists from the Africa Rice Center. It has enhanced resource-use and research efficiencies and facilitated rapid and efficient technology dissemination to end-users. The network has played a central role in the development and distribution of the both upland and lowland NERICA® varieties, which helped achieve a 6 percent increase in African rice production in 2006/07.