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Efforts to transform agriculture in Africa have received a boost as researchers met under the Support for Agricultural Research and Development of Strategic Crops (SARD-SC)’s event, “Partners, Possibilities and Prospects,” on 15 July 2013 at the 6th African Agricultural Science Week in Accra to draw more support from partners into project.
The SARD-SC project will raise the productivity of maize, cassava, wheat, and rice by 20% in twenty selected countries in Africa.
Located in the Horn of Africa, Eritrea has a long coastline on the Red Sea. The country has varied topography, rainfall, and climate, with altitude ranging from 60 to more than 3,000 meters above sea level. The climate ranges from hot and arid near the Red Sea to subhumid in isolated micro catchments along the eastern escarpment. The central highlands have a semi-arid climate. Most of the year’s rain falls within a short time, resulting in soil erosion and runoff.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$ 63.24 million fund package for the implementation of a 5-year project dubbed “Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa” (SARD-SC).
The SARD-SC is a research, science, and technology development initiative aimed at enhancing the productivity and income derived from cassava, maize, rice, and wheat – four of the six commodities that African Heads of States, through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program, have defined as strategic crops for Africa.
By Lloyd Le Page, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers
The Horn of Africa is facing its worst drought in over half a century, and nearly five million people face starvation. We have little control over the political factors responsible for the terrible tragedies that play across our television screens and on the front pages of the world's newspapers. But what can the world do to prevent the scale and toll in lives that makes this story news? How can we build agricultural systems resilient enough to absorb environmental shocks?