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Leading Agricultural Innovation in West and Central Africa

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Rice (Mali)

There are nine national centers of specialization across West Africa. Each is assigned a priority crop. The Rice Regional Center of Specialization is hosted by Mali and leads research on rice for the entire region.

Success Stories

One of the outstanding research outputs of the Rice Regional Center of Specialization has been its work on the rice cultivation method commonly known as the System for Rice Intensification (SRI).

SRI is an agro-ecological, climate-smart, and low-input methodology developed in Madagascar in the 1980s and practiced today successfully in more than 50 countries including 13 West African countries.

 

This approach is said to have tremendous potential to close the rice production gap in West Africa and to place the region on the desired trajectory of rice self-sufficiency.

 

Through the implementation of WAAPP Mali, the dilapidating research infrastructure of the Regional Center for Agricultural Research (CRRA) of Niono, Sikasso, Mopti, and Sotuba have been renovated.

 

A new generation of scientists and young researchers had a chance to take a degree and non-degree certificates in the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Science, Technology, and Technology of Bamako and elsewhere.

 

West African specialized research centers were established under the West Africa Productivity Program (WAAPP), a flagship of ECOWAS and implemented by CORAF.

 

Each center had between 5-10 years from its creation to mutate to a regional center of excellence based on a set of pre-defined conditions. Some of these criteria include having an agriculture research framework, infrastructure, and logistics to conduct quality research, a work program that addresses national and regional demands, qualified expertise to do research, contribution to strengthening national research systems, a governance system, etc.

Regional centers of excellence are designed to conduct commissioned research on issues of regional interest. They can participate in calls for competitive funds and can mobilize from across the region required talents and skills to implement their research agenda,”

Dr. Lamien Niéyidouba,
Regional WAAPP Program Coordinator