NRI is currently collaborating with the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), the CGIAR international agricultural research centre specialising in the rice sector, on a project called ‘Catalysing Adoption and Use of Scalable Technologies in Africa’ (CAUSA).
Scalable technologies are research outputs being developed by AfricaRice and collaborating institutes which are ready for large scale dissemination to farmers. These technologies include new rice varieties, farm machinery such as power tillers, mechanical weeders and parboilers, and integrated approaches such as ‘SMART-valleys’ – a low-cost, participatory, sustainable approach to develop inland valleys in sub-Saharan Africa for rice-based systems. Also included are Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions like RiceAdvice, a decision support app for providing farmers with field-specific management guidelines.
NRI will be collaborating on this project by developing a variety of e-learning modules for trainers’ training, aimed initially at a network of young professionals. The e-learning training will be modular, interactive and will include self-tests with the possibility of course certificates for successful participants.
NRI’s Bruno Tran attended the AfricaRice Science Week and Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) Africa Forum 2015, which took place from 9–13 February at the AfricaRice temporary headquarters in Cotonou, Benin, where over 300 rice experts took part in the annual review, reflection and planning of rice research development.
During the week, as part of CAUSA, NRI offered facilitation and support to AfricaRice’s Information and Knowledge Exchange Facilitation (IKEF) team, and participated in their review and planning activities. In addition, the inaugural meeting of the CAUSA advisory board took place on the 13th February, during which the project was launched and board members were invited to offer advice on strategic direction and next steps. This productive meeting demonstrated the high level of interest shared by AfricaRice and partners in the cause of CAUSA.