Agriculture / Biotechnology / Burundi / East Africa / Ethiopia / ILRI / Kenya / Rwanda / Tanzania / Uganda

Using East Africa’s bio-resources to increase and sustain the region’s food production

Bio-Innovate launch: Bio-Innovate's Seyoum Leta

Seyoum Leta, manager of the Bio-Innovate Program (photo credit: ILRI/MacMillan).

Last month, the Zecco (Trading) website published news of the official launch of a Bio-Innovate Program that will work on smart ways to use the region’s bio-resources to increase food production in sustainable ways in six countries in eastern Africa. Bio-Innovate is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency.

‘One of the Kenyan based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), on Friday laid out new farming methods which are dedicated to improve food production and environmental management in six eastern African partners countries including Rwanda . . . .

‘The new programme known as Bio-resources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) also embraces a full spectrum of issues from providing grants to bio-scientists working to improve food security, boost resilience to climate change and identify environmentally sustainable ways of producing food . . . .

‘Among countries that are expected to benefit from new farming scheme grants include Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda . . . .

‘”In this part of the African continent, hunger, environmental degradation and climate change present a triple threat to individual, community and national development”, said the press release quoting Carlos Seré, ILRI’s director general.

‘Furthermore, official statistics show that in eastern Africa alone, over 100 million people depend on agriculture to meet their fundamental economic and nutritional needs. . . .

‘”By focusing on improving the performance of crop agriculture and agro-processing, and by adding value to primary production, we can help build a more productive and sustainable regional bio-resources-based economy”, said Seyoum Leta, Bio-Innovate’s program manager at ILRI.

‘In 2010, agriculture was designated Rwanda’s economic mainstay with its contribution of 34 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).’

Read the whole article at Zecco (Trading) website: Research institute outlines new methods of improving food security in East Africa, 18 March 2011.

Read another news clipping, from Kenya’s Business Daily.

Read the ILRI news release on this launch.

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