Thursday, 16 July 2009

Inauguration of Africa Liaison Office of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS)

The Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) is located in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, with Dr. Kenji Iiyama as President. JIRCAS has set up recently its Africa Liaison Office in Accra, Ghana inside the premises of Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).

Its inauguration ceremony was held on 14th July 2009. During this event Dr. Masami YASUNAKA, vice president of JIRCAS was interviewed.

Recently, there has been an increasing expectation for Japans contribution to agricultural research in Africa since the creation of the Yokohama Action Plan during the TICAD IV Meeting held in May 2008, which states that Japan will provide assistance to the development of agricultural research, extension, and training services for the improvement of agricultural technologies for Africa such as for variety improvement and improvement of soil fertility.

Accordingly, JIRCAS research activities in Africa are being strengthened and its share for research in Africa has been increasing rapidly. Furthermore, JIRCAS will also join the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) as a member of the steering committee and hopes to contribute to research and development of rice technologies in Africa.

To strengthen the base and strategy of agricultural research activities in Africa hereafter, it is necessary to build a system that attaches great importance to the collaborative relationships among national and regional agricultural research organizations in Africa and research networks on both crop and subject basis.

Dr. Masami YASUNAKA answers the following questions:

  1. What is JIRCAS' vision to collaborate with Africa
  2. Why was Ghana and FARA choosen to establish a liaison office?
  3. Is climate change one of JIRCA's research topics?