Enhancing Food Security in Africa: new project on strategic crops

March 21, 2012 at 9:26 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Signing the project grant agreement. Seated, right to left: Mr Abdirahman Beileh, Acting Director, OSAN-2, African Development Bank; Dr Nterenya Sanginga, Director General, IITA; Dr Mohammed El Mourid, Coordinator of ICARDA’s North Africa Regional Program; and Dr Dougou Keita, Director Division, OSAN-2The African Development Bank will fund a new project, Support to agricultural research for the development of strategic crops in Africa, implemented jointly by ICARDA and three other CGIAR Centers, targeting 22 low-income countries. The project is the first comprehensive, continent-wide effort to overcome food security challenges in the poorest countries. It will focus on four crops – cassava, maize, rice and wheat – that have been identified as priority, strategic crops by African governments. The grant agreement was signed in Tunis on 12 March, by Mr Abdirahman Beileh of the Bank and Dr Nteranya Sanginga Director General of IITA (on behalf of the CGIAR partners).
The five-year project aims to help improve food security and nutrition and reduce poverty, through technology development and dissemination and capacity building. The targets are ambitious: improve cassava, maize, rice and wheat yields by 20%, food security by 20%, and average household income by 60%.
The project will be implemented jointly by four CGIAR centers: IITA (executing agency), ICARDA and AfricaRice, with IFPRI providing additional support for some components. The project budget includes $ 63 million from the Bank and $ 24 million as in-kind contributions from national research programs in the target countries.

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