Malawi is not among a list of the African Development Bank’s Regional Member Countries (RMCs) that will benefit from a US$ 63.24 million fund package for the implementation of a 5-year “Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa” (SARD-SC).
The Bank’s low-income RMCs include Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Target beneficiaries are individual farmers and consumers, farmers’ groups including youth and women, policy makers, private sector operators, marketers/traders, transporters, small-scale agricultural machinery manufacturers, and institutions.
“It is a research, science, and technology development initiative aimed at enhancing the productivity and income derived from cassava, maize, rice, and wheat – four of the six commodities that African Heads of States, through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program, have defined as strategic crops for Africa,” ADB said.
The project will be co-implemented by three Africa-based CGIAR Centers: the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Africa Rice Center, and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas.
IITA is also the Executing Agency of the project.
“It comes at an opportune time when food security and nutrition are high on the national agenda of the Bank’s Regional Member Countries (RMCs), as rising food prices push millions of people into extreme hunger and poverty,” according to press statement from ADB.
The project is expected to contribute towards addressing the current shortfall in food supply in these countries and beyond by working across the full value chain of each crop and addressing both food costs and employment creation.
“Through its value chain approach, SARD-SC will also contribute to crop-livestock integration based on the use of the commodities’ by-products,” ADB said.