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African Development Bank funds $63m initiative to improve agricultural productivity on contitnent

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is funding a project with researchers to improve agricultural productivity in Africa.

The $63.24 million project is a five-year, multi-CGIAR center initiative known as “Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa” (SARD-SC).

CGIAR is the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future.

A press release from CGIAR says the SARD-SC is a research, science, and technology development initiative aimed at enhancing the productivity and income derived from cassava, maize, rice, and wheat – four of the six commodities that African Heads of States, through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme, have defined as strategic crops for Africa.

The project, which will run until 2016, will be co-implemented by three Africa-based CGIAR centers: IITA, Africa Rice Center, and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas. IITA is also the Executing Agency of the project, the release said.

Another CGIAR center – the International Food Policy Research Institute – a specialized technical agency, will support the other three centers, it added.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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