Researchers and partners launch SARD-SC maize component

Researchers and partners working under the Support for Agricultural Research for Development for Strategic Crops (SARD-SC) have launched the maize commodity component in Nigeria. The cassava component was launched in DR Congo last week.

Declaring the event open, Dr Ylva Hillbur, Deputy Director General for Research urged participants to think differently and do things differently to create impact.

Funded by the African Development Bank, the SARD-SC is a 5-year, multi-CGIAR center initiative that aims to enhance the productivity and income derived from cassava, maize, rice, and wheat – four of the six commodities defined as strategic crops for Africa.

The project will be co-implemented by IITA, Africa Rice Center, and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, supported by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Dr Hillbur said the project was important for Africa, as the continent seeks to become food secure.

“Let me also assure you that IITA will support you to achieve the goals set in this project,” she added.

Dr Chrys Akem, Project Coordinator, SARD-SC, said the project would be implemented in strict compliance with the bank’s rules.

Though the maize commodity component would be implemented in four countries—Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, and Zambia, Dr Akem said other African countries could benefit from these countries.

He called on stakeholders to put in their best to make the project a success.

Participants from Nigeria, Ghana, and Mali welcomed the project, saying that it would help in improving the livelihoods of maize farmers in their countries