One CGIAR to Spearhead Rice Development in Africa With a New Strategy

Stakeholders involved in rice research and development in Africa met virtually from February 14 to 17, 2022, during AfricaRice Science Week 2022, to define ways and means to maximize the performance of AfricaRice, within the operational framework of One CGIAR.

AfricaRice is a pan-African Center of Excellence for rice research, development and capacity building. It is one of 15 international agricultural research centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global partnership that brings together international organizations involved in food security research.

At the end of the previous AfricaRice 2011 — 2020 Strategic Plan, a new Strategic direction for rice research and development was decided, in line with the new emerging challenges and the operational framework of One CGIAR.

Celebrated under the theme “Positioning rice development in Africa under One CGIAR”, the AfricaRice Science Week 2022 was the place for stakeholders to reflect on the finalization and upcoming implementation of the new Rice Research and Innovation Strategy for Africa.

The new Strategy is aligned with One CGIAR’s overall strategy and is firmly in line with the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rice remains a staple food in Africa and for which the continent is still largely dependent on external imports. The new Rice Research and Innovation Strategy will help take a big step towards self-sufficiency in rice, helping to bridge the gap between demand and supply,”

says Dr. Abdou Tenkouano, Executive Director of CORAF.

“The implementation of the new Strategy will improve the livelihoods of farmers and other actors in the rice value chain in Africa,” he adds.

At the end of the five-day event, AfricaRice scientists had a better understanding of how the new Rice Research and Innovation Strategy is aligned with One CGIAR’s strategy.

Among several other outcomes of the meeting, it can also be noted that a framework for the commitment of National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) for the operationalization of the new Rice Research and Innovation Strategy for Africa, within the framework of the constraints and opportunities presented by the Covid 19 pandemic, taking into consideration the core rice research and innovation activities as defined in the new Strategy, has been developed.

“By better understanding and taking ownership of this new Strategy, AfricaRice scientists will be able to better carry out their activities to boost the rice value chain in Africa,” says Dr. Tenkouano.

“This will definitely help ensure food security and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 2, which aims to eliminate hunger.”

According to FAO, total rice imports (milled rice equivalent) in Africa in 2020 are estimated at 15,504,538 tons, for a total amount of 6,529,343,000 USD. Africa’s total production is estimated at 25,272,498 tons for the same year, according to the same source.

One CGIAR is a dynamic reformulation of CGIAR’s partnerships, knowledge, assets and global presence, aiming for greater integration and impact in the face of the interdependent challenges facing today’s world.

Read also: