New Algeria-ICARDA collaborative program formalized

March 31, 2010 at 11:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

H.E. Dr Rachid Benaissa (right), Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, is honored for his contributions to agricultural research and development in Algeria

An ICARDA/CGIAR delegation visited Algeria earlier this month, following a request from H.E. Dr Rachid Benaissa, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, for ICARDA’s technical assistance to strengthen the country’s Agricultural and Rural Renewal Program. The delegation included three ICARDA staff – Dr Mahmoud Solh, Director General; Dr Kamil Shideed, ADG-ICC; and Dr Mohammed El Mourid, Coordinator, North Africa Regional Program; and Ms Lystra Antoine, Senior Financial Officer/Investor Relations of the CGIAR.

Meetings with Algerian scientists and policy makers, including a review of current knowledge gaps, helped identify areas where ICARDA would provide technical support: climate change adaptation, combating desertification, increasing water productivity, agricultural intensification and diversification, capacity development, biodiversity conservation and utilization, and biotechnology applications. The Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique – Algerie (INRAA) will lead the program, and coordinate activities with the Ministry of Agriculture and its 14 research institutes.

The new INRAA-ICARDA agreement, signed by the two Directors General: Prof. Foued Chehat (right) of INRAA and Dr Mahmoud Solh of ICARDA

The new partnership was formalized through two documents: a Letter of Intent, outlining the scope of the collaborative program, signed by the Ministry, CGIAR and ICARDA; and a Memorandum of Understanding between INRAA and ICARDA, describing a 5-year research program.

Algeria and ICARDA have been research-for-development partners for more than 30 years, with highly successful results. The new expanded program is expected to result in even greater impacts on food security and rural livelihoods in Algeria – and provide lessons that can be applied in dry areas in other countries.

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