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Its main mandate is to strengthen regional cooperation in the generation of technologies directed at improving root and tuber crops production and productivity with a focus on high yielding, tolerance to pest and diseases, and high-quality traits acceptable to consumers.
Not only does the center have direct responsibility in the scaling up and dissemination of improved technologies but it also seeks to produce, distribute and promote clean and healthy planting material as breeder seeds for primary and secondary seed growers.
These 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