This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.
1-5 February 2016. Cotonou, Benin. AfricaRice held its 2016 Science Week and Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP)-Africa Forum. The Science Week served as the annual review, reflection and planning event for the Center and its research and development partners from around the world. It is held under the framework of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), a CGIAR Research Program on rice.
International and national rice research and development partners from the public and private sectors, including representatives of national research and extension programs of about 30 African countries participated in this event.
The main objectives of the 2016 AfricaRice Science Week and GRiSP-Africa Forum were to discuss results obtained in 2015 and carry out effective and efficient planning of rice research-for-development (R4D) activities in 2016.
In addition to updates on GRiSP-Africa R4D activities and meetings of the Africa-wide Rice Task Forces and the Rice Sector Development Hubs, the Science Week’s program included among others brainstorming sessions on improved seed delivery, long-term agronomic trials related to soil fertility management, knowledge sharing and innovation platforms in rice value chains.
Published on 22 Dec 2015. A video on the improved GEM parboiling rice system, which has started to make a difference in the lives of over 450 women rice parboilers in the Glazoué rice hub in Benin, has been produced.
AfricaRice has developed and established the GEM system in Glazoué using an innovation platform approach along the rice value chain thanks to the project “Support to Agricultural Research for strategic crops in Africa” (SARD-SC) with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Appropriate training has allowed women to explore the GEM method and its advantages that include the following:
- Reduction of post-harvest losses;
- Parboiling a large quantity of rice in a limited period of time; and
- Improving the quality of rice that better meets consumer demands.
The innovation platform approach has promoted the creation of good business relations between the various stakeholders in the rice value chain by bringing together all the stakeholders.
As a result, rice consumers are progressively being attracted to the locally produced parboiled rice in Glazoué, leading to increase in incomes of women parboilers. In addition to the beneficiaries from Glazoué rice hub, the training included women processors from Malanville in northern Benin and 10 young entrepreneurs.