The 5-year, multi-CGIAR center initiative known as “Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa” (SARD-SC) 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.
During the launch of the initiative in Ibadan, Nigeria, the Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga called on researchers to deliver ‘quick impact’ to justify the investments in research.
“We should begin to demonstrate impact in the next two years using available technologies already developed. Everything in SARD-SC is about impact and not only writing scientific papers,” Dr Sanginga said.
The SARD-SC Project comes at an opportune time when food security and nutrition are high on the national agenda of the AfDB Regional Member Countries (RMCs), as rising food prices push millions of people into extreme hunger and poverty. The SARD-SC allows – for the first time ever in a single project – a continental coverage of the food security challenges in Africa.