5 December 08, Cotonou, Benin –
A multi-country rice research network in West and Central Africa – which goes by its French acronym, ROCARIZ – won the Outstanding Partnership Award at the 2008 Annual General Meeting of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR),1-5 December 2008, in Maputo, Mozambique.
The award was jointly received by the Chair and Coordinator of ROCARIZ, which is hosted by the Africa Rice Center (WARDA)
ROCARIZ was singled out for “its decentralized, issue-driven task force approach” that has enabled it to successfully foster a high level of national involvement in collaborative research to improve rice productivity in both rainfed and irrigated systems in West and Central Africa.
ROCARIZ has more than 150 national scientists today from 21 West and Central African countries and international scientists from the Africa Rice Center. It has enhanced resource-use and research efficiencies and facilitated rapid and efficient technology dissemination to end-users.
The network has played a central role in the development and distribution of the both upland and lowland NERICA® varieties, which helped achieve a 6 percent increase in African rice production in 2006/07.
“ROCARIZ has not only strengthened the rice R&D capacity of our national partners, but has also helped the Africa Rice Center attain critical mass in areas where alone it would not be possible,” said Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck, Director General, Africa Rice Center.
“This award is all the more significant because the new CGIAR is adopting a more open and dynamic approach to partnership,” Dr Seck added.