ACCRA, GHANA, July 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's International Development
Research Centre (IDRC) and the Australian International Food Security
Centre (AIFSC) today are launching a call for concept notes for the Cultivate Africa's Future (CultiAF) initiative, a 4-year, CA$15 million research partnership
designed to combat hunger in sub-Saharan Africa by harnessing the
potential for innovation among the region's smallholder farmers, the
majority of whom are women.
The announcement, made at the 2013 Africa Agricultural Science Week
conference, represents a significant investment in research that will
help promote food security in Eastern and Southern Africa by tackling
persistent problems such as post-harvest losses, malnutrition, poor
product quality, and inefficient water use. Managed by IDRC, and funded
equally by IDRC and AIFSC, CultiAF contributes to Canada's and
Australia's commitment to combat hunger, food and insecurity throughout
the developing world.
"Sub-Saharan African agricultural productivity is the lowest in the
world. This program will support research to find more effective ways
to increase productivity and food security," says IDRC President Jean
Lebel. This strategic partnership between IDRC and ACIAR will promote
the use of existing science and technology expertise. "Canada's IDRC is
pleased to partner with the Australian Centre for International
Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to advance ideas and innovative
breakthroughs that increase food security through practical science for
development." added Mr. Lebel.
"Australia and Canada prioritize food security as a key element in our
aid agendas, and recognize the untapped potential of innovation for
smallholder farmers in helping food reach those who need it", says
Mellissa Wood, Director of the Australian International Food Security
Centre, which leads and funds ACIAR's involvement in the CultiAF
Under the Call, research organizations from 10 countries - Burundi,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia,
and Zimbabwe - are eligible to compete for grants of up to CA$3 million
Winning collaborative research projects should help smallholder farmers
reduce post-harvest loss of crops; improve yields and livestock
productivity through better water use; and improve nutrition.
Resulting innovations are expected to be of use to other parts of
Africa and will support national and regional food security efforts on
CultiAF builds on Canadian and Australian leadership in research
innovation and food security throughout the world.
More information is available at www.idrc.ca/CultiAF.
About Canada's International Development Research Centre
A key part of Canada's aid program, the International Development
Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and
development. IDRC also encourages sharing this knowledge with
policymakers, other researchers, and communities around the world. The
result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring change
to those who need it most.
About the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
The ACIAR is part of the Australian Government's Official Development
Assistance Program. Research funded by ACIAR aims to help developing
countries to help themselves, by contributing to solving agricultural
problems and building their research capacity. ACIAR's involvement in
CultiAF is delivered through the Australian International Food Security
SOURCE: International Development Research Centre
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