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Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
27 Jan 2017
An international team of researchers representing the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Wageningen University, has raised the alarm over the enormous economic impact of parasitic weeds on rice production in Africa, threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of resource-poor rice farmers and consumers in the region.
A delegation led by Mr Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, visited the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) on 22 October 2014 to explore opportunities for strategic collaboration for a regional rice program for Africa under the umbrella of the Coalition for AfricanRice Development (CARD).
FAO is seeking to build a broad partnership with governments, the private sector, research institutions, producer organizations and donors to develop an efficient, productive and sustainable rice-growing sector in the continent.
As part of its 2011-2020 Strategic Plan, AfricaRice is working with its partners across the continent to set up Rice Sector Development Hubs to concentrate research and development efforts, establish a critical mass, connect partners along the rice value chain, and facilitate the spread of innovations.
The hubs are testing grounds for new rice technologies and follow a “reverse-research approach,” that is, starting from the market.
Rice is playing a key role in providing food security for the poorest categories of rural and urban populations in Africa. It is the leading provider of food calories in West Africa and in Madagascar, and is now the second largest source of food energy in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
AfricaRice is pleased to announce the release of its Annual Report 2011, which provides compelling highlights of the work carried out by the Center and its partners to sustainably boost the rice sector in Africa by bringing rice research and development to the aid of Africa’s poor.
A new interactive tool for identifying nearly 200 different weed species of lowland rice in East and West Africa was recently unveiled at the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice). The tool is built on a comprehensive knowledge base that can be accessed online (http://www.afroweeds.org/idao/) and offline on laptops and CD-ROMs or as an app on smartphones and tablet computers.
“Impact assessment is now an indispensable component of programs because stakeholders are demanding demonstrable and measurable impacts,” says Dr Aliou Diagne, AfricaRice Program Leader for Policy, Innovation Systems and Impact Assessment. “Donors are increasingly requesting more evidence of net return from their investments.”
It is expected that between now and 2050 the world population will increase by 2.3 billion. Much of this increase will be concentrated in developing countries, with sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) leading the way, as its population is estimated to double from 770 million in 2005 to 1.5 billion by 2050.
According to FAO, global food production must increase by 70% to feed the world—a challenge that has never been as demanding as now, in the face of climate change and degrading environment.