12 Dec 2011
Africa-wide task forces set up to
accelerate delivery of rice technologies
National and international rice
experts in Africa have joined forces to set up
continent-wide task forces on critical thematic
areas in the rice sector to stimulate the
delivery of improved technologies.
Focusing on five themes – (1)
breeding; (2) agronomy; (3) postharvest & value
addition; (4) policy; and (5) gender – the
Africa rice task forces aim to provide synergy
to research efforts across the continent, pool
scarce human resources and foster a high level
of national involvement.
“This approach will reduce the
time lag between the development and the release
of new rice technologies across the continent
and increase their impact,” remarked Dr.
Director General of the
Dr. Seck explained that the task
force mechanism is based on three principles:
sustainability, development of critical mass and
ownership by the national agricultural research
systems. “A major thrust of the task forces is
building the rice research capacity at the
regional and national levels.”
AfricaRice is facilitating these
continental task forces in response to the
strong demand made by the participants of the
Africa Rice Congress held in 2010,
which was endorsed by the 28th
Ordinary Session of its Council of Ministers in
For AfricaRice and its partners,
the task force mechanism is an important tool to
link the development of improved rice
technologies with local partners through
adaptive research and to accelerate their
dissemination through innovation partnerships.
The Center will build on its
experience with the regional rice task force
mechanism introduced in the nineties, which was
appreciated by its national partners.
The new task forces will operate
under the umbrella of the
Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP),
a CGIAR Research Program, which provides a
single strategic plan and unique new partnership
platform for impact-oriented rice research for
“We must ensure that the task
forces provide a vital space for young
scientists to grow,” stated Dr.
AfricaRice Deputy Director General, at the
recent launch of the Africa Rice Agronomy and
Postharvest & Value Addition Task Forces in
Cotonou, Benin, which was attended by
participants from 14 African countries. Issues
relating to mechanization are dealt within both
these Task Forces.
Earlier this year, the
Africa Rice Gender Task Force was
launched to ensure an effective gender
mainstreaming in rice R4D and capacity building
activities in order to deliver gender-friendly
technologies that can improve the quality and
the competitiveness of locally produced rice.
Breeding Task Force is already in
operation and is facilitating access of rice
breeders across the continent to new varieties
and lines. It has also been actively engaged in
organizing training programs on breeding,
experimental design, and germplasm database
management for national researchers.
the launching meeting
collage of the launching meeting
The Consultative Group on
International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
is a global partnership that unites
organizations engaged in research for
sustainable development with the funders of this
work. The funders include developing and
industrialized country governments, foundations,
and international and regional organizations.
The work they support is carried out by 15
members of the Consortium of International
Agricultural Research Centers, in close
collaboration with hundreds of partner
organizations, including national and regional
research institutes, civil society
organizations, academia, and the private sector.
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AfricaRice is a CGIAR Research Center –
part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future. It is
also an intergovernmental association of African member countries.
The Center was created in 1971 by 11 African countries. Today its
membership comprises 26 countries, covering West, Central, East and
North African regions, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central
African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo,
Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau,
Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of
Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda.
AfricaRice headquarters is based in Côte d’Ivoire. Staff are located in
Côte d’Ivoire and also in AfricaRice Research Stations in Benin,
Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. For more information
CGIAR is a global research partnership for a
food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty,
enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources
and ecosystem services. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR Centers
in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and
regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia,
development organizations and the private sector.