30 March 2010, Cotonou, Benin — The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) has just been crowned with two prestigious international science awards: one for Outstanding Communication and another for Outstanding Promising Young Scientist.
These awards were conferred by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) at the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development, which is taking place this week in Montpellier, France.
The 2009 CGIAR Outstanding Communication Award was presented to Dr Paul Van Mele, AfricaRice Program Leader on Learning and Innovation Systems, for the Rice Rural Learning Initiative based on farmer-to-farmer videos on improved rice production practices.
The videos, combined with mass media, have helped strengthen the capacities of over 600 farmer organizations across Africa, stimulated greater innovation than did conventional farmer training techniques and had tangible impact on the livelihood of rural women.
The 2009 CGIAR Outstanding Promising Young Scientist Award was presented to Dr Jonne Rodenburg, AfricaRice Weed Scientist, for his commitment to help resource-poor rice farmers in Africa, especially women, through the development of integrated approaches to managing parasitic weeds, the major source of yield loss in rice in Africa.
Dr Rodenburg was particularly appreciated for his high-quality research, excellent record in publications, close involvement in building capacity of national scientists and successful efforts in mobilizing resources for research projects.
“We are very proud of our two awardees, whose achievements testify to the new dynamism in research at AfricaRice,” said Director General Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck.
AfricaRice is one of the 15 international centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It is also an autonomous intergovernmental research association of 24 African member countries.