AfricaRice Director General calls for integration of rice science in regional policy agenda

Impressed with the outputs of the AfricaRice Regional Station in Saint Louis, Senegal, in terms of high-yielding and stress-tolerant varieties,  improved agronomic packages, policy options and knowledge, AfricaRice Director General Dr Harold Roy-Macauley said, “The work that is being done at this Regional Station by a very dynamic team is focused and relevant. However, more efforts need to be made to integrate rice science in the regional policy agenda.”

Dr Roy-Macauley made these remarks to the staff during his first visit to the Saint Louis Regional Station. “This Station has made significant contributions to the rice sector development in the Sahel region and it is clear that the Sahel countries need you.”

After receiving a warm welcome from the scientists and support staff of the Regional Station, Dr Roy-Macauley visited the experimental fields and the laboratories for biotechnology, grain quality and soil science. The Acting Regional Station Head Dr Kabirou Ndiaye gave a brief overview of the Station’s activities which was complemented by presentations by scientists.

Dr Roy-Macauley took the opportunity to explain the principles and pillars of his vision in order to help AfricaRice grow into a big pan-African international Center of Excellence for research, development and capacity strengthening.

Scenes from the visit of AfricaRice Director General Dr Harold Roy-Macauley to the Center's Regional Station in Saint Louis, Senegal

Cliquez ici pour écouter le discours du Dr Roy-Macauley / Click here to listen to Dr Roy-Macauley’s speech.


Dr Baboucarr Manneh highlights the achievements of the STRASA-Africa component

The Stress Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) phase III Africa annual meeting was held on the 13th of February 2015 in Cotonou, Benin. Forty six (46) participants from 19 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia. Ghana, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and USA) attended this meeting. Sixteen countries which are involved in the project were represented by their focal points.

Key personalities present at the meeting were Dr Gary Atlin of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr Marco Wopereis, Deputy Director General-Research and Development, AfricaRice; Dr Mathew Morell, Deputy Director General, IRRI; Dr Abdelbagi Ismail, Overall STRASA Coordinator, IRRI; Dr Baboucarr Manneh, STRAS-Africa Coordinator; and Dr Issoufou Kapran, Program Officer, Seed Production and Dissemination, AGRA. Representatives of several STRASA development partners such as CORAF/WECARD (West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development) and NAFASO (Private company in Burkina Faso) were also present.

The presentations and discussions focused on progress made by AfricaRice and IRRI-ESA project scientists and NARS partners in identifying and developing scalable products such as abiotic stress tolerant genes, breeding lines and varieties as well as dissemination strategies for the newly released stress tolerant varieties. In 2014, three drought tolerant lines were submitted for release in Mali (WAB 358-5-2-3-3-P, CNAX3031-78-2-1-1, WABC265) and 6 cold tolerant lines (Scrid 006-2-4-2-3, HR 17570-21-5-2-5-2-2-1-5, ARICA 9, WAS 62-B-B-14-1, PSBRC 96, WAS 203-B-B-1) were also submitted for release in Burundi and Mali. The need for greater integration of gender issues into the strategic results framework of the project was also emphasized at the meeting. Drafts Seed Road Maps developed by NARS partners for the newly released stress tolerant varieties were updated at the meeting. 

Dr Baboucarr Manneh highlights the achievements of the STRASA-Africa component. 

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