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New centre for agricultural innovation

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Sven Torfinn/Panos

Africa gets new centre for agricultural innovation

The main gap that the centre seeks to close is the low capacity of the present extension service.” Bernard Marc Winfried, AfricaRice

Speed read

  • The centre aims to boost incomes of smallholders
  • The centre will initially focus on rice, soybeans, poultry and ruminants
  • An expert says it could help address poverty and aid growth in Africa

A new research centre that will help African countries promote innovation in the agricultural sector to combat rural poverty and hunger has been inaugurated.

The Green Innovation Center, which was inaugurated at AfricaRice in Benin this month (3 January), aims to boost agricultural productivity, increase the incomes of smallholder farmers and create job opportunities, particularly for youth and women in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Tunisia and Zambia
The Green Innovation Center is supported by the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in partnership with other institutions such as Benin Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, and AfricaRice.

BMZ has given 2.7 million euros (almost US$3 million) to AfricaRice to implement the centre’s activities in 2016 and 2017, according to Bernard Marc Winfried, a knowledge management specialist at AfricaRice.
Gerd Müller, minister for BMZ, said during the inauguration thatagriculture does not only need water and fertiliser but also knowledge and innovation.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.