Sudanese policy makers encourage collaboration

September 15, 2011 at 7:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

 

Support from Sudanese policy makers. Left to rightDr Kamel Shideed, Mr Izzat, Dr Hassan El Awad, Dr El TahirSiddique Ali and H.E. Dr AbdElhaleem Al-Muta’afi

Sudan’s top agricultural policy makers reiterated their support for collaborative research between the national Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC) and ICARDA.  H.E. DrDrAbdal-Haleem Al-Muta’afi, Minister of Agriculture; H.E. Dr Mohamed Ali ElhagAloba, State Minister of Agriculture; and Prof. Ahmed Ali Ahmed Geneif, former Minister of Agriculture and Chief Advisor- Agricultural Revival Authority, hosted meetings with an ARC-ICARDA delegation in September. The delegation included DrEltahirSiddique Ali, ARC Director General; DrKamel Shideed, ICARDA ADG-ICC; and Dr Hassan El-Awad, head of ICARDA’s Sudan office.

“Rainfed agriculture is the backbone of our economy,” Dr Al-Muta’afi said, noting that ARC-ICARDA technologies would be crucial for ensuring food security in Sudan. All three policy makers vouched full government support for the regional food security project targeting Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.

Sudan has recently ratified the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), and is developing national legislation to facilitate implementation of the treaty in Sudan. The government has established a Food Security Unit and ICARDA will work closely with that Unit. Dr Mohamed Ali ElhagAloba said that research collaboration could be scaled up in several areas including agro-ecological characterization, irrigation systems, salinity management and rainwater harvesting.

Prof. Geneif noted that considerable progress had been made in designing and implementing projects identified by a Sudanese team that visited ICARDA headquarters in May 2010.

The ICARDA team also met with staff from the Authority of Merowi Dam Area for Agricultural Development, to discuss the development of a new partnership framework. This will cover a range of collaborative activities including socio-economic surveys, upgrading of laboratory facilities, wheat improvement, seed production and capacity development.

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