New partnership to enhance rice production in Africa

A new programme aimed at boosting sustainable rice production has begun at the AfricaRice Centre, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

© Agriculture Corner

The programme known as the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) would mobilise world class rice science and involve the widest range of stakeholders possible in the technology generation and dissemination process to address, among others, Africa’s major rice development challenges.

Papa Abdoulaye Seck, AfricaRice director general said that “we acknowledge the urgency to conduct research activities differently – to do more and to do better, given the increasing poverty throughout the world”.

Seck said that GRiSP proposes a new global approach to research.

Laying emphasis on the need for pooling intelligence to better exploit the comparative advantages of all the partners to address more efficiently the constraints to rice production, Seck spelt out 10 conditions that are essential for GRiSP to become a successful program and ensure a high degree of satisfaction among rice farmers and consumers throughout the world.

The conditions include the need to respect the diversity of partnerships, regional differences and institutional identities in the GRiSP, while rejecting “hegemonic thinking.”  “It is only the synthesis of these differences that will make us move forward,” Seck said.

The conditions also specify the need for equitable resource allocation based on the real requirements of the various regions; the urgency to strengthen the capacity of African stakeholders; the significant role of the national partners within the GRiSP; the importance of continuous dialog with policy-makers; and the need to avoid bureaucracy as well as excessive evaluation where scientists spend more time writing reports than doing research.

Launched in November 2010, GRiSP is the first CGIAR Research Program (CRP) to be approved. It operates under the overall leadership of IRRI, which also oversees the activities in Asia; AfricaRice is leading the work in Africa, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in the Latin America & Caribbean region.

Source – http://www.africasti.comOctober 10, 2011