The DG NARO – Dr. Ambrose Agona led a team of scientists from NARO to participate in the AfricaRice Science Week that was held at AfricaRice Head Quarters in Mbe, Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire This event took place from December 12th to 16th, 2022, under the theme “Consolidating partnerships to implement the 2030 Rice Research and Innovation Strategy for Africa”.
The main objectives of the meeting were to consolidate the partnership between AfricaRice and other stakeholders to deliver science and innovations to share the innovations strategy to realize Africa’s rice ambitions and to convene and share scientific reports from various programs.
Discussions were placed on Women and youth engagement, Seed sector strengthening, Knowledge management, improvement, promotion, and upscaling of innovations.
The meeting was informed of Africa Rice’s achievements over the past 50 years as follows:
1. Rice hubs concept continues to deliver significant improvements in the sector
2. Genetic improvement with 4 major lines widely adapted or incorporated in breeding systems across the region
3. Agronomic support has been provided anchored on the Rice Advisor app
4. Utilization of smart valleys has significantly increased the production of rice
5. Innovations in post-harvest and storage systems have been key in increased access to healthy rice grain
For the future, the new rice Strategy for Africa will focus on the pillars of accountability, learning, adaptation, communication, and mobilization of resources. Its impact pathway is anchored on creating demand-responsive research innovations, and supportive business models while driven by a systems transformation and scaling strategies.
This calls for increased government investments in sustainability and improved control, using more climate-smart technologies to minimize waste, strengthening the rice value chains, and increasing innovation with artificial intelligence. Implementation based on contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).