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Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) AfricaRice is one of the 15 international agricultural research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium. It is also an intergovernmental association of African member countries. The Center was created in 1971 by 11 African countries. Today its membership comprises 25 countries, covering West, Central, East and North African regions, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda. AfricaRice is implementing its Strategic Plan through the CGIAR Research Program on Rice, known as the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), the Rice Task Force mechanism and a network of Rice Sector Development Hubs that are being set up across Africa to concentrate R&D efforts and connect partners along the rice value chain. AfricaRice temporary headquarters is located in Cotonou, Benin. It has outreach stations in Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. Research staff are also based in Liberia and Sierra Leone. For more information, visit:

About CGIAR CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food-secure future. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. It is carried out by the 15 centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in close collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector. For more information, visit:


Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) CENTER DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2014 – 2020

Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) 01 BP 2031, Cotonou, Benin 2014

Š Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) 2014 AfricaRice encourages fair use of this material. Proper citation is requested. The designations used in the presentation of materials in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever by Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries.

Citation Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice). 2014. Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) Center Development Plan 2014–2020. Cotonou, Benin: ii+18 pp. ISBN 978-92-9113-366-6 (print) 978-92-9113-367-3 (pdf )

The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) is a pan-African research-fordevelopment organization working to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in Africa through research, development and partnership activities aimed at increasing the productivity and profitability of the rice sector in ways that ensure the sustainability of the farming environment. AfricaRice is an autonomous inter-governmental association of 25 member states from West, Central, North and East Africa. Its highest governing body is the Council of Ministers of Agriculture of its member states (CoM), which meets every two years. A National Experts Committee (NEC) composed of directors general of the national agricultural research systems (NARS) of all member states meets ahead of the CoM to review the Center’s progress in line with agreed strategy and work plans, and to make recommendations to the CoM. Member states pay annual contributions to support the work of the Center. Like other centers of the CGIAR Consortium, AfricaRice also has a Board of Trustees (BoT) which has strategic and fiduciary oversight and governance responsibilities. AfricaRice plays a key role in advising scientists and policy-makers in member states on critical rice production and marketing issues. For example, the rice shortage and price crises that began in late 2007 were predicted by the Center and members were alerted through the CoM and visits by AfricaRice’s director general. The Center operates through partnership at all levels. Its research and development activities are conducted in collaboration with various stakeholders — primarily NARS, national extension services, academic institutions, advanced research institutes (ARIs), farmers’ organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and donors — for the benefit of African farmers (mostly small-scale producers), as well as the millions of African consumers and agribusinesses for whom rice means food and livelihood. This plan represents the current vision for the development of AfricaRice research stations across Africa up to 2020 to enable the Center to fulfill its Strategic Plan for 2011–2020, which should be read as a companion document. Center Development Plan 2014–2020

Center Development Plan 2014–2020



This Center Development Plan will be implemented through three-year rolling operational plans detailing the changes and resources that need to be put in place to keep the Center firmly focused on research products and partnerships that will positively impact Africa’s rice sector development. Cotonou, March 2014

Peter J. Matlon Chair, Board of Trustees Africa Rice Center


Adama TraorĂŠ Interim Director General Africa Rice Center

Africa Rice Center

Looking back The early years AfricaRice was constituted as the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) in the early 1970s by 11 west African countries. It began operating from Monrovia, Liberia. Because of the civil disturbances in that country, AfricaRice moved its headquarters from Monrovia to M’bé, near Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire, between late 1987 and early 1988. A new Sahel station was established in 1990 at Ndiaye, Senegal, reinforcing the Center’s presence in the country (where it had been active since 1977) to work on the Sahel irrigated rice ecology. By 1991, a total of 17 countries of west and central Africa had joined the association. Meanwhile, AfricaRice had also become a member of the CGIAR, while retaining its status as an intergovernmental association with governance provided by both a Board of Trustees and a Council of Ministers, its highest oversight body.

With the onset of the ‘Ivorian crisis’ in September 2002, AfricaRice relocated its headquarters staff to Abidjan. Research staff subsequently moved to Bamako, Mali, in January 2003. With renewed violence in Côte d’Ivoire, the decision was taken to relocate all headquarters staff to the IITA station in Cotonou, Benin in December 2004. In recognition of its growing pan-African significance, management dubbed WARDA the Africa Rice Center in January 2003, a name that was formally accepted by the Association’s governing body in September 2003. Six years later, in December 2009, the CoM approved to replace the acronyms WARDA and ADRAO with AfricaRice as its abbreviation in both English and French. An AfricaRice staff member was appointed to coordinate the now defunct Eastern and Central African Rice Research Network (ECARRN) in Tanzania, which established the Center’s presence in the eastern Africa region in January 2005.

Center Development Plan 2014–2020

Looking back

The Nigeria station was established in 1991 on the campus of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) with a focus on lowland rice. In 1994, the landmark successful crossing of the two cultivated rice species was achieved, producing the first NERICA (New Rice for Africa) plants, the first of which were officially released in Côte d’Ivoire in December 2000.


Recent history The Association expanded its membership from 17 in 2006 to 25 in 2013, in part as a result of its widened mandate reflected in the name change to Africa Rice Center (the additions were from central, eastern and northeast Africa). Moreover, from 2007, many countries began to take greater ownership of the Association (i.e. their membership) in large part as a result of the Director General’s advocacy work by paying their financial contributions and much of their arrears — e.g. total membership contribution in four years (2007–2010) exceeded the amount received over 18 years (1989–2006). The Center’s research was re-organized in January 2008 into three interactive research programs (Genetic Diversity and Improvement, GDI; Sustainable Productivity Enhancement, SPE; and Policy, Innovation systems and Impact assessment, PII) and one support unit (RiceTIME — Training, Information Management and Extension linkages). The GDI Program covers the area ‘from gene to plant’, and aims to enhance genetic diversity and develop improved rice lines adapted to abiotic and biotic stresses and consumer preferences, using conventional breeding, marker-assisted selection (MAS) and profiting from farmer knowledge. The SPE Program covers crop and natural resource management (NRM) research related to intensification and diversification, and protection of environmental services in the face of climate change; it aims to move research from plot to systems level and to introduce systems thinking in general. The PII Program covers partnerships, learning and innovation systems, and works on improving the link between farmers and input and output markets, and value-chain development. It also includes policy research and impact assessment. The RiceTIME unit promoted the uptake of research products and methodologies, and their improvement through capacity-building, information-exchange, links with development activities and the private sector, and feedback to AfricaRice’s three research programs. In 2011 the RiceTIME Unit was converted into a full-blown AfricaRice program, entitled the Rice Sector Development (RSD) Program. The restructuring allowed greater focus and clearer distribution of tasks among Center staff. The Center also ensured improved monitoring of activities, instituted annual work plans for scientists, and ensured frequent visits to outstations by research managers. Subsequently, AfricaRice achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating in an external evaluation of the 15 CGIAR Centers in 2010, in large part for its research and scientific publications, financial and institutional health, and the perceptions of its stakeholders. A major thrust of the Center throughout its history has been the strengthening of its member and partner NARS. From 2006 to 2013, the financial value of the joint 4

Africa Rice Center

AfricaRice–NARS research portfolio more than quadrupled; 70% of the Center’s publications were co-written with NARS scientists up from about 40% in 2006; quality seed was provided or facilitated for 20 countries; hundreds of visits were made by AfricaRice staff to NARS; several thousands of participants took part in workshops; the numbers of MSc and PhD students hosted at AfricaRice reached 56 and 46 respectively in 2012; and a post-Master’s program was established to extend professional training to allow young university graduates to gain experience in an international setting. Throughout the period 2006–2013, AfricaRice maintained five principal locations (Cotonou, Benin; Ibadan, Nigeria; Ndiaye, Senegal; M’bé, Côte d’Ivoire; and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania). In the aftermath of the last evacuation from Bouaké in 2004, major expansion occurred in Cotonou, Ibadan, and Ndiaye. A new office was opened in Dar es Salaam in 2009. Meanwhile, the M’bé site was maintained by a small technical team under the supervision of a regional representative. In 2007, AfricaRice initiated discussions with the other rice-research centers in the CGIAR — namely, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) — and began the process of Africa-wide partnership that pre-dated the CGIAR change process and the development of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP). The Center also built relations with regional economic communities and the African Union, and built and strengthened strategic alliances with advanced research institutions, in particular Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD), Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) and Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences ( JIRCAS), the co-architects of GRiSP. In 2007, AfricaRice predicted the rice-price crisis that hit at the end of that year and the beginning of 2008. This prediction, combined with an advocacy tour and policy advice for ‘weathering the storm’, demonstrated the value of the Association to its member states in possibly the strongest terms in the center’s history, and greatly increased the cooperation between the member states and the Center. In November 2010, the CGIAR Fund Council approved the GRiSP proposal. GRiSP thereby became the first global ‘CGIAR Research Program’ of the new CGIAR Consortium. Under the Framework Agreement of Cooperation (signed by the three directors general of IRRI, CIAT and AfricaRice in May 2011), AfricaRice has regional responsibility to deliver on GRiSP products and milestones in Africa. AfricaRice’s 2011–2020 Strategic Plan (‘Boosting Africa’s Rice Sector’) was approved by the Center’s Council of Ministers during its 28th Ordinary Session held in Gambia, 22–23 September 2011. The Strategic Plan will be implemented in partnership with Center Development Plan 2014–2020


many partners along the research-to-development continuum, with the national agricultural research systems as the key entry point in each country. To achieve impact and boost Africa’s rice sector it is essential to: (i) concentrate efforts (avoid dispersion); (ii) build critical mass; (iii) connect actors in the research and development communities; and (iv) communicate results. Following these four principles, AfricaRice will implement its Strategic Plan through the following three mechanisms. The first mechanism is through AfricaRice’s participation in CGIAR Research Programs, in particular the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP). AfricaRice will broker the mobilization of rice knowledge from outside Africa and ensure that knowledge from Africa will benefit other continents. The large majority of AfricaRice’s activities will be reported under the global umbrella of GRiSP. The second mechanism is the Rice Task Force Mechanism: an Africa-wide systematic collaborative research effort on critical thematic areas in the rice sector, based on the principles of sustainability, build-up of critical mass, and ownership by the NARS. The Task Force Mechanism will contribute to the development of a new generation of rice scientists across the continent. The third mechanism consists of Rice Sector Development Hubs — zones where rice research products and local knowledge are integrated across the rice value chain to achieve development outcomes and impact. Hubs represent key rice growing environments and different market opportunities across African countries, and are linked to major national or regional rice-development efforts to facilitate broader uptake of rice knowledge and technologies. The geographic positioning of each Hub is determined in national workshops convened by the NARS. In 2011 and 2012, a total of 54 Hubs were identified in 19 countries. In 2005, the Center employed or hosted 46 internationally recruited staff (4 hosted). By the end of 2013, this reached 72 (3 hosted, including post-doctoral fellow and longterm consultants). The Center’s overall budget tripled from just over US$ 11 million in 2006 to $32 million in 2013. The Center’s reserves were also built beyond the CGIAR Consortium recommended minimum of 90 days to a solid 222 days in 2012.


Africa Rice Center

Looking ahead: Center development 2014–2020 Mission and values

To realize Africa’s rice potential through collaborative research for development, public-private sector partnerships across the rice value chain and strengthening of research and extension systems, thereby attaining food security, social equity, and improved and healthy livelihoods for Africa’s rice farmers and consumers. In delivering this mission, AfricaRice adheres to the following values: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Shared demand articulation and agenda setting Mutually beneficial partnerships Scientific excellence to achieve impact Active sharing of knowledge Transparency and accountability Social inclusion, gender equity and cultural diversity Safeguarding the environment for future generations.

Center Development Plan 2014–2020

Looking ahead

Rice is a unique and highly political commodity in Africa. Over-reliance on the world market to supply rice to African consumers is becoming a very risky, expensive and unsustainable strategy and it may lead to severe food insecurity and civil instability as witnessed in 2008. The critical challenge facing the African rice sector is to enhance performance in production, processing and marketing to respond to a major concern by turning it into an opportunity: the rising demand for rice as a preferred staple. To respond to this challenge, there is a need for a holistic investment approach and public–private partnerships to develop Africa’s rice sector across the entire value chain, creating trust with and benefits for all stakeholders, from seed to plate. AfricaRice will contribute to face this challenge as reflected by its mission statement:


Center development: 2014–2020 AfricaRice will improve the efficiency and efficacy of its activities based on the following principles: 1. Decentralized mode of operation 2. Long-term stable funding 3. Strengthened in-house and NARS capacity 4. Efficient and client-oriented support services. 1. Decentralized mode of operation Justification of location of research stations Based on the ex-ante impact analysis conducted for the 2011–2020 strategic plan (AfricaRice, 2011), AfricaRice will continue to move toward a decentralized mode of operations, building on four cross-cutting continental rice R&D programs (GDI, SPE, PII, RSD) led by program leaders and three regional centers (for West, East and Southern, and Central Africa) led by regional representatives. Regional centers are comprised of one or more research stations led by station heads. In each region, one of the station heads also doubles as the regional representative for that particular region. Program leaders have overall responsibility for rice R&D activities and cost-effective funding allocation. They ensure that research activities across the continent are coherent and executed following the latest developments in their field of science. Regional repre­ sentatives and station heads create the environment for doing excellent rice R&D geared towards impact, seeking active linkages with development and private sector partners. Following the analysis done for the strategic plan, in terms of regional distribution on income gain, West Africa has the highest potential impact (annually $1.143 billion, about 62.2% of total annual income gain — $705.6 million for farmers, $384.1 million for consumers, $36.3 million for processors and $17.3 million for traders). Eastern Africa would come in second position (annually $485.0 million, about 26.4% of total — $274.3 million for farmers, $183.1 million for consumers, $18.7 million for processors and $9.0 million for traders). Central Africa would be the third region ($187.5 million, about 10.2% of total — $109.4 million for farmers, $66.6 million for consumers, $7.7 million for processors and $3.8 million for traders). Southern Africa comes last with only $21.7 million annually (1.2% of total annual income gain — $2.6 million for farmers, $16.8 million for consumers, $1.5 million for processors and $0.8 million for traders). These projected impacts are based on rice R&D activities included in the Global Rice Science Partnership program for Africa for the period 2011–2015 and forecast for 2016–2020 — representing a total investment of about 8

Africa Rice Center

$ 420 million. It also includes indirect costs of dissemination of the technologies (estimated from various past projects at about $1.2 billion). In terms of the regional distribution of poverty reduction through rice research and development, it is expected that by 2020 some 6.9 million people can be lifted out of poverty in West Africa (2.9 million in rice-farming households and 4.0 million in non-rice-farming consumer households), 2.7 million in Eastern Africa (1.0 million in rice-farming households and 1.7 million in non-rice-farming consumer households), 1.0 million in Central Africa (0.3 million in rice-farming households and 0.7 million in non-rice-farming consumer households), and 0.5 million in Southern Africa (just 7500 in rice-farming households and 0.5 million in non-rice-farming consumer households). Annual income gains from rice research efforts were also analyzed per country and major growing environment in sub-Saharan Africa (Figure 1). Major gains in rainfed Tunisia Morocco Algeria


Western Sahara


Mali Niger

Mauritania Senegal


Burkina Faso

Gambia Guinea-Bissau Guinea



Eritrea Ethiopia


Ghana Sierra Leone


Côte Liberia d’Ivoire

Central African Republic Cameroon Gabon Congo


South Sudan Uganda Kenya Rwanda

DR Congo



Irrigated Rainfed lowland


Rainfed upland Angola



$ 320 million $ 125 million $ 50 million $ < 10 million





Botswana Swaziland South Africa Lesotho

Figure 1: Expected annual income gains from rice research (based on ex-ante impact assessment conducted for the 2011–2020 strategic plan).

Center Development Plan 2014–2020


growing environments are expected in Nigeria and in the Mano River Union countries. In the Sahelian countries, gains from research investments will mainly come from the irrigated rice production environments, in particular in Mali and Senegal. In East Africa, two countries clearly stand out in terms of expected returns to research investments — Tanzania and Madagascar — both almost entirely because of gains expected in the rainfed lowland and irrigated growing environments. Moving to Central Africa, the picture is less clear, but greatest impact from research is expected from the Democratic Republic of Congo from investments in rainfed upland and lowland systems. In addition to the ex-ante impact assessment, the potential and ambitions of various countries as expressed through national rice development strategies (www.riceforafrica. org) were analyzed as well and combined with trend analyses for yield and harvested area using FAO data. This exercise confirmed (data not shown) that Nigeria and Madagascar stand out as being hugely important, with Nigeria importing large quantities of rice. Both countries anticipate large increases in rice production through expansion and intensification. Nigeria’s rice production relies mainly on rainfed systems but the potential for irrigated rice cropping is huge. Madagascar’s rice output stems from the lowlands (both rainfed and irrigated). Combining the four Mano River countries also provides a compelling case for potentially strong rice growing countries, but which are currently importing large quantities of rice. Tanzania, Mali, DRC and Ethiopia all have great potential for irrigated rice cropping. These analyses justify maintaining an important presence in West Africa, and building up critical research mass in East Africa and Central Africa. As conditions permit, AfricaRice anticipates being able to once again make use of its 700-ha research facility in M’bé, Côte d’Ivoire to the fullest over the period 2013–2020. This will involve recruitment of new staff and movement of staff — in particular from Benin. Eventually it is anticipated that the Benin research facility will again be managed by IITA, with some AfricaRice staff remaining (see below). A small team will be established in Madagascar focusing on rainfed lowland and irrigated rice systems, as part of the East and Southern Africa Regional Center. Similarly a presence in Uganda is envisaged to focus on ecological intensification and diversification of rice-based systems in rainfed upland environments. Finally, the possibility to establish a presence in Central Africa will be considered. In summary over the period 2014–2020 it is anticipated that AfricaRice will return its Headquarters to Côte d’Ivoire and establish three Regional Centers comprised of one or more stations: Headquarters • Abidjan HQ main office, Côte d’Ivoire • M’bé HQ liaison office, Côte d’Ivoire 10

Africa Rice Center

West Africa Regional Center • • • •

Ndiaye Station, Senegal (will host the regional representative) Cotonou Station, Benin Ibadan Station, Nigeria M’bé Station, Côte d’Ivoire

East and Southern Africa Regional Center • Dar es Salaam Station, Tanzania (will host the regional representative) • Madagascar Station (exact location to be identified) • Uganda Station (exact location to be identified) Central Africa Regional Center • Location(s) under study with partners Cost implications of the proposed decentralized growth on the continent will be detailed in three-year rolling operational plans to be approved by the AfricaRice board of trustees and must come from new funding sources, separate from those needed for research activities. Each of the Regional Centers will focus on specific groups of countries and rice environments through multidisciplinary research teams, headed by a regional representative. Staff at these Centers will be part of one of the four continental R&D programs (GDI, SPE, PII, RSD) responsible for specific research products and capacity strengthening tasks and/or may have knowledge management and diffusion responsibilities, including backstopping to the integration of research outputs and local knowledge in ‘Rice Sector Development Hubs’ to achieve outcomes and impact (AfricaRice, 2011). Figure 2 shows the location of current and anticipated AfricaRice stations (Madagascar, Uganda) and agro-ecological zones in Africa (see page 12). We combined data from You et al. (2009a and b) on rice production systems for 10 km × 10 km with information on agro-ecological zones (HarvestChoice, 2009). Rice-production systems were classified as: (i) rainfed, high-input/commercial; (ii) rainfed, low-input/subsistence; and (iii) irrigated. Agro-ecological zones are grouped according to temperature (tropical or sub-tropical), elevation (warm or cool) and moisture (arid, semi-arid, sub-humid and humid), see Figure 2. Major findings are as follows (see Table 1, page 12): –– The rainfed, low-input system in the tropical – warm / sub-humid zone is dominant in five West African countries except for Mali, where the irrigated system is dominant in the tropical – warm / semi-arid zone. Center Development Plan 2014–2020


Ndiaye, Senegal Ibadan, Nigeria

Subtropical – warm / arid

M’bé, Cotonou, Côte d’Ivoire Benin


Subtropical – warm / semi-arid Subtropical – warm / sub-humid

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Subtropical – warm / humid Subtropical – cool / arid Subtropical – cool / semi-arid Subtropical – cool / sub-humid Subtropical – cool / humid Tropical – warm / arid


Tropical – warm / semi-arid Tropical – warm / sub-humid Tropical – warm / humid Tropical – cool / arid Tropical – cool / semi-arid Tropical – cool / sub-humid


Tropical – cool / humid

500 1000

2000 km

Figure 2: Agro-ecological zones (as per HarvestChoice website, accessed August 2012) and location of (current and proposed) AfricaRice research stations indicated on the map by orange stars. The country or countries hosting the station(s) covering the Central Africa region have not yet been identified.

Table 1: Main rice production systems and agro-ecological zones (AEZs) and coverage by countries hosting AfricaRice Stations based on a spatial analysis using data from HarvestChoice, 2009 and You et al., 2009a and b. Production system and AEZ

Estimated share (%) of rice area in Africa1


Rainfed, low-input system in tropical – warm /   sub-humid zone


Benin, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania

Irrigated system in tropical – warm / sub-humid   zone


Benin, Madagascar, Nigeria

Rainfed, low-input system in tropical – warm /   semi-arid zone


Nigeria, Senegal

Irrigated system in tropical – warm / semi-arid   zone


Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal

Rainfed, low-input system in tropical – warm /   humid zone


Côte d’Ivoire, Central Africa, Madagascar, Uganda

Irrigated system in tropical – warm / humid zone



Rainfed, low-input in tropical-cool zones   (highland)


Tanzania, Madagascar, Uganda

1. Egypt counted for 8% of total rice area in Africa in these analyses.


Africa Rice Center

–– The rainfed, low-input system in the tropical – warm / semi-arid zone is important in Nigeria. –– Egypt accounts for one combination: the irrigated system in the subtropical – warm / arid zone. –– In Madagascar, the irrigated system in the tropical – warm / sub-humid and tropical warm / humid zones is dominant. –– Rainfed, low-input rice systems in the tropical – warm / sub-humid zone is common in Tanzania, and this is similar to West Africa. –– In DR Congo, rainfed, low-input systems in the tropical – warm / humid zone are dominant. Table 1 provides evidence that the location of (current proposed) research stations adequately cover the main target production systems and agro-ecological zones in Africa (excluding Egypt). Focus of AfricaRice stations, staff movement and recruitments AfricaRice Headquarters Headquarters Office Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. If the situation permits, security of staff is fully assured and suitable accommodation has been found, AfricaRice will move its headquarters from Cotonou, Benin to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, distinct from its research facilities at M’bé. Some researchers will be based in Abidjan as well, especially from the PII program. A liaison office to the HQ in Abidjan will be established in M’bé to facilitate hosting meetings and receiving visitors from Abidjan HQ. West Africa Regional Center M’bé Station, Côte d’Ivoire. AfricaRice will consider re-establishing research activities at M’bé, Côte d’Ivoire over the period 2014–2020 through recruitments and movement of staff, in particular from Benin. This will be based on a careful analysis in terms of (i) security of staff; (ii) potential disturbance of research activities and research dynamics; and (iii) associated logistics and financial burden and in close consultation with government authorities and technical and financial partners. In the short term, the M’bé research station will be used primarily for phenotyping, variety testing for the three major rice growing environments, training on seed production and rice breeding activities. Eventually the M’bé research station will be able to serve the Mano River Union countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Center Development Plan 2014–2020


Sierra Leone), as well as Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau and Ghana and broaden its focus to address other priority areas in the 2011–2020 strategic plan (AfricaRice, 2011) and depending on identified needs. Work on the mangrove ecology will be conducted in collaboration with the national research system of Sierra Leone. Ndiaye Station Senegal. The Ndiaye Station will have a special focus on Sahelian irrigated systems, in particular water × nutrients × weed management for highinput systems; (hybrid) rice breeding; rice value-chain development; agricultural mechanization; and rice production training using the newly built training facilities in St. Louis. This Station will focus on Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and The Gambia, and will have strong links with other countries that have significant areas of irrigated rice production in a Sahelian climate, namely Chad, Niger, Nigeria and with Egypt. Egypt should be considered as a strategic partner for sub-Saharan Africa in upstream research related to climate change, water scarcity and hybrid rice breeding. Ibadan Station, Nigeria. The Ibadan facility will have a special focus on rainfed lowland rice breeding, low-input rice-based systems and water × nutrients × weed management interactions and crop protection issues between rice and other crops, such as vegetables, roots and tubers. Long-term storage of our germplasm collection will continue to be done in Ibadan. A small social science team will be established to work on collective action and governance as related to rice value chain development. Given that Nigeria is a powerhouse of rice production in continental sub-Saharan Africa, AfricaRice’s continued presence in Nigeria is essential. A small permanent research facility may be required in the north of the country or in Abuja. Cotonou Station, Benin. The Cotonou facility will focus on gene discovery related to major biotic stresses (Rice yellow mottle virus, blast, bacterial leaf blight, African Rice Gall Midge) and will host a well-equipped integrated rice genetics and breeding platform for rice, which is expected to play a key role in capacity development for NARS scientists in the region. The Genetic Resources Unit will continue to be hosted in Benin and will ensure short- and medium storage of our germplasm collection. Our work on inland valley systems development will continue to be steered from Cotonou. East and Southern Africa Regional Center Dar es Salaam station, Tanzania. Eastern Africa is currently served by AfricaRice staff based in Tanzania. Eastern Africa activities will focus on rice breeding for lowland, upland and high-altitude systems; water × nutrient × weed management interactions; agricultural mechanization, rice value-chain development and rice production training. The East and Southern Africa Regional Center will collaborate closely with IRRI staff 14

Africa Rice Center

working on rainfed lowland rice breeding and pathology research based in Burundi. The team may also profit from excellent Japan International Cooperation Agency ( JICA) research and training facilities in Uganda and Tanzania. The East and Southern Africa Regional Center will serve the following countries (most of them still not member states of AfricaRice): Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. In time, it is expected that the region served by this Center will extend from the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan and Ethiopia in the north to Mozambique and Madagascar in the south. Proposed stations in Madagascar and Uganda. AfricaRice intends to establish a presence in Madagascar by strengthening the existing National Center for Applied Research on Rural Development (FOFIFA)/CIRAD team and focusing on improving the competitiveness of rice produced in the irrigated and rainfed lowland rice environments. Similarly, a presence in Uganda is envisaged to focus on ecological intensification and diversification of rice-based systems in rainfed upland environments. Central Africa Regional Center It is proposed to establish a regional rice research center in the Central Africa region which may comprise one or more stations. This is currently under study by all partners concerned. The Central Africa Regional Center would eventually serve: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The realization of this vision will require major additional financial support and careful analysis of various options and budget implications, in particular ways of teaming up with other CGIAR centers active in the region. Post-conflict countries Liberia and Sierra Leone will receive special effort from AfricaRice to rebuild their rice research capacities. Under the umbrella of the World Bank West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP), AfricaRice will temporarily (for 2–4 years) post staff to Liberia and Sierra Leone in specific areas to be identified with NARS partners in both countries. The work should also generate spillover for the other countries served by the Mano River Union station. In due course, some of these positions may be transferred to M’bé. This decentralization process will be supported by adequate investment in facilities and equipment to ensure a world-class research environment at AfricaRice Headquarters and each Research Station. All of the Center’s locations will be equipped with highspeed internet connection and video-conferencing facilities, to facilitate day-to-day interaction and ‘face-to-face’ meetings across sites, and to reduce travel costs. Center Development Plan 2014–2020


Staffing AfricaRice will create new internationally and nationally recruited positions for areas that are currently under-staffed and will enhance in-house capacity through focused staff development. Positioning of these staff will be done in a way to ensure that all stations are composed of multidisciplinary teams with critical mass (at least 10 inter­nationally recruited staff positions per station). AfricaRice will encourage out-posting from and joint appointments with GRiSP partners, and exchange of scientists with other CGIAR centers, NARS and ARIs. The number of internationally recruited positions (including post-doctoral fellows and long-term consultants) is expected to grow from 72 by the end of 2013 to about 90 in 2017 and stabilize at about 94 in 2020 (see Figure 3). 100

Total Benin Nigeria


Côte d’Ivoire Senegal


East & Southern Africa Central Africa









Figure 3: Projected AfricaRice staff growth during the period 2014–2020 (interna­tionally recruited staff only, this includes post-doctoral fellows, long-term consultants and administrative staff). East and Southern Africa includes staff in Tanzania, Madagascar and Uganda. Côte d’Ivoire includes staff in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

2. Long-term stable funding The Center is expected to profit from more stable funding through its participation in the CGIAR Research Programs, most notably the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) and strict enforcement of full cost recovery principles following CGIAR guidelines. For restricted bilateral grants, the Center will focus on medium- and longduration projects (3–5 years) with budgets of at least US$0.5–1 million per year and phase out smaller projects. With the expanded complement of member states, the Center should be receiving commensurate increased income through members’ 16

Africa Rice Center

subventions. By 2020, the number of members might reach 30. We expect the Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total budget to increase to about US$40 million in 2017 and to US$50-60 million in 2020. 3. Strengthened in-house and NARS capacity AfricaRice will conduct all of its research through and with the NARS, creating important leverage and rebuilding rice R4D capacity at national and regional levels. AfricaRice will act as both a developer of and a broker for rice knowledge and will tap sources from within and outside the African continent. Knowledge exchange among NARS in Africa will be greatly improved through the establishment of the Task Force mechanism and through active participation of AfricaRice in GRiSP and other CGIAR Research Programs that are expected to open new windows of opportunity for both NARS and AfricaRice staff. AfricaRice will encourage out-posting from and joint appointments with GRiSP partners, and exchange of scientists with other CGIAR centers, NARS and ARIs to strengthen in-house and NARS capacity. The exchange of scientists with other CGIAR centers, NARS and ARIs will be facilitated through GRiSP, which will also ensure evaluation of research programs and adequate follow-up. Where needed, AfricaRice staff will profit from individual or group training opportunities to enhance capacity in critical research or administrative areas, most notably in the context of GRiSP and shared support services within the CGIAR Consortium. AfricaRice will implement activities for GRiSP, other CGIAR Research Programs and bilaterally funded projects through its existing research programs. The Rice Sector Development Program will promote the uptake of research products and methodologies and their improvement through capacity-building, informationexchange, links with development activities and the private sector, and feedback to the three research programs. Monitoring and evaluation will be as much as possible streamlined and automated and outsourced to partners to ensure that research products can be traced easily and their dissemination monitored. 4. Efficient and client-oriented support services The Center has a proactive approach to quality and risk management. The institute will strive for quality control in all research and administrative operations. Workflow procedures will be mapped and where possible automated and corresponding responsibilities will be clarified. Research laboratories will participate in global quality control networks and work toward ISO standards. Center Development Plan 2014â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2020


A special effort will be made to ensure sustainability of investments in new research infrastructure, operations and travel to cut back on CO2 emissions. Maximum use will be made of video-conference facilities to minimize travel of AfricaRice staff between Regional Centers. Improvements in operational procedures will be proposed, implemented and monitored to reduce related risks and increase their quality, efficacy and efficiency. Reviewing and updating policies and procedures will be an ongoing process to reflect new developments and best practices in managing human, physical and financial resources in the most effective and efficient manner. To achieve excellence in research it is important to maintain a working environment that will facilitate the recruitment and retention of high-caliber staff. This requires well organized and highly efficient support services to ensure that facilities and equipment are maintained to high international standards. The efficacy and efficiency of support services will be based on the concepts of value for money and customer satisfaction.

End note This Center Development Plan was written to complement the 2011–2020 Research for Development Strategy (AfricaRice, 2011). It is a living document that will be reviewed regularly to ensure that the Center can respond timely to new strategic choices and regional and global developments. It will be implemented through three-year rolling operational plans detailing the changes and resources that need to be put in place to keep the Center firmly focused on research products and partnerships that will positively impact Africa’s rice sector development.

References AfricaRice, 2011. Boosting Africa’s Rice Sector. A research for development strategy 20112020. Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), 01 BP 2031 Cotonou, Benin, 77pp. HarvestChoice (2009) Agroecological zones. (accessed 6 September 2012). You, L., Wood, S. and Wood-Sichra, U. (2009a) Generating plausible crop distribution maps for sub-Saharan Africa using a spatially disaggregated data fusion and optimization approach. Agricultural Systems 99, 126–140. You, L., Guo, Z., Koo, J., Ojo, W., Sebastian, K., Tenorio, M.T., Wood, S. and Wood-Sichra, U. (2009b) Spatial Production Allocation Model (SPAM) 2000. Version 3, Release 1. http://


Africa Rice Center

Abbreviations AEZ

agro-ecological zones


Africa Rice Center


advanced research institute


Board of Trustees


International Center for Tropical Agriculture


Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement


Council of Ministers


Eastern and Central African Rice Research Network


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


National Center for Applied Research on Rural Development


Genetic Diversity and Improvement


Global Rice Science Partnership


International Institute of Tropical Agriculture


Institut de recherche pour le développement


International Rice Research Institute


Japan International Cooperation Agency


Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences


marker-assisted selection


national agricultural research systems


National Experts Committee


New Rice for Africa


non-governmental organization


natural-resource management


Policy, Innovation systems and Impact assessment


AfricaRice regional centers


Training, Information Management and Extension linkages


Rice Sector Development


Sustainable Productivity Enhancement


Scientific and Technical Committee


West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program

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Af r i

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Rice Cen

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Afr caR ce

Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) 01 BP 2031, Cotonou, Benin Telephone (229) 6418 1313 • Fax (229) 6422 7809 • E-mail •

AfricaRice Center Development Plan 2014–2020  
AfricaRice Center Development Plan 2014–2020  

Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) CENTER DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2014–2020