Applied research to increase the yield of four crops, cassava, maize, wheat and rice

Applied research to increase the yield of four crops, cassava, maize, wheat and rice

29-30 August 2013. Abuja. Training programme on IAR4D and Innovation Systems Approach for SARD-SC Wheat Value-Chain. The Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Research Institute, Dr. O.G Olabanji, said the purpose of the training is to strengthen capacity of the stakeholders on the wheat value chain. He said the country spends about N635 billion on wheat imports, while it is capable produce it, saying he is hopeful that the country will be self sufficient in wheat production by 2015.

Director General, International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Dr. Mahmoud Solh, said the workshop was organized to support agriculture research for development and strategic crops funded by the AfDB.

“Special technical training has been carried out across the value chain to enhance local wheat production, processing and quality control. Research institutes in the country and abroad were able to research and develop Nigeria’s own wheat and this has helped increase wheat production in the country.”  Mr Akinbolawa Osho, the Director, Fertliser, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

15 July 2013. Dr Chrysantus Akem, the SARD-SC project coordinator, presented at the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (July, 15-20, 2013) in Accra, the project titled “Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa” (SARD-SC). [Start date: 06/07/2012]

The African Development Bank finances US$63.24 million for this multi-CGIAR Center project.  The program, sponsored by CGIAR, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, is a five-year program expected to run until 2016.

CGIAR’S program is a research for development project aimed at raising the productivity level of four commodity crops in Africa. (Photo credit: IITA)

It will be coordinated by three specific CGIAR centers based in Africa, the Africa Rice Center, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, which is also acting as the Executive Agency. Specialized technical support will be provided by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

The project focuses on research, science, and technology development in order to raise the productivity levels of and income derived from cassava, maize, rice and wheat. These are four of the six commodity crops the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme has determined are strategically essential to the future of African agriculture.

The project will be focusing on value chain approach, from production to the final product by looking at aspects of research to increase the yields of the four crops, taking into consideration good varieties, integration of good agronomical practices to increase the yields, and issues of storage, transport, process, and marketing the products.

In Ghana maize and rice are the selected crops for the project, and FARA has initiated an approach called Innovative Platform Approach to engage all the different stakeholders namely the farmers, researchers, policy makers, marketers to discuss what the problems are and come out with possible solutions.

The role of FARA is a back stop institution to bring value to the project. “Other countries have access to technologies in what is called regional public goods for those countries that are not part of the project’’, he emphasised.

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