Partnerships mean large scale impact
An AfricaRice team led by the Director General, Dr Manneh Baboucarr, visited the French Centers of Agricultural research namely CIRAD (The French Agricultural Research and International Cooperation Organization working for the sustainable development of Tropical and Mediterranean Regions) and IRD (French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development) during this month of October.
The delegation met the PDG of CIRAD, Mrs Elisabeth Claverie de Saint Martin, to discuss possibility of strengthening the collaboration between AfricaRice and CIRAD. The two leaders agreed to work jointly to contribute to the achievements of the SDGs by increasing rice research and development activities for the benefit of small-scale actors.
While AfricaRice already contributes to 9 out of the 17 SDGs through its various projects, programs and initiatives, IRD recently released its progress report forecasting around 18% of SDG targets to be met worldwide by 2030.
Meetings and discussions with the Partnership Leader and researchers of IRD and with CIRAD leadership highlighted presentations of past and on-going activities on rice value chain in Africa. It is good to note that IRD recently developed rice varieties resistant to a bacterial disease outbreak in Africa and that collaboration with AfricaRice will certainly accelerate the expected outcome to significantly increase yields for small-scale food producers in Africa and Asia.
The two French institutions are both committed to strengthen agri-food systems and contribute to improve food security on the continent thus meeting AfricaRice vision.
The visit led to three short-term mains outcomes (i) staff of CIRAD will be posted at AfricaRice station in Bouake and Senegal; (ii) joint research programs will be developed by all 3 and by all 3 entities; (iii) research programs will be jointly conducted by AfricaRice and the two French research institutes.
Partnerships remain an essential pillar in the operating model of AfricaRice. By maintaining strong ties with the farmers, delivering world class services to national research institutes, engaging effectively with the central governments, collaborating with technical and financial partners, and forging new and transformative bonds, the leading pan-African center of excellence for rice research, development and capacity building is surely scaling up impact.