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

Sweden funds innovations to drive crop production in 6 East African countries

Bio-Innovate launch: Swedish aid colleagues

Swedish aid and diplomatic colleagues at the official launch of the Bio-Innovate Program in March at ILRI, with Claes Kjellström, representative of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) at the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi (middle); Kikki Nordin, Regional Team Leader of SIDA’s Environment and Economic Development department (left); and Björn Häggmark, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Sweden in Kenya (right) (photo credit: ILRI/Nairobi).

Uganda’s Daily Monitor reports this week on the 16 March 2011 official launch of a Bio-Innovate Program in East Africa.

‘A new programme that provides grants to bio-scientists working to improve food production and environmental management in Eastern Africa was launched on March 16, 2011 at the Nairobi headquarters of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

‘According to a press release from Nairobi, the newly established Bio-resources Innovation Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) Programme provides competitive grants to African researchers.

‘The grants are meant for researchers who are working with the private sector and non-governmental organisations to find ways of improving food security, boost resilience to climate change and identify environmentally sustainable ways of producing food. . . .

‘The five-year-programme is funded by a $12m grant from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). Bio-Innovate is managed by ILRI and co-located within the Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa (BECA) Hub at ILRI’s Nairobi campus. Bio-Innovate will be implemented in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

‘“By emphasising innovations to help drive crop production in the six partner countries, Bio-Innovate is working at the heart of one of the region’s greatest challenges—that of providing enough food in the face of climate change, diversifying crops and addressing productivity constraints that are threatening the livelihoods of millions,” said Carlos Seré, ILRI’s director general. . . .

‘“Bio-resources research and use is important to pro-poor economic growth,” says Seyoum Leta, Bio-Innovates Programme Manager. “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.”. . .

‘“Bio-Innovate are an important platform for pooling eastern African expertise and facilities through a regional Bio-resource Innovations Network,” said Claes Kjellström, Bio-Innovate SIDA representative at the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi.

‘“We believe this programme will enable cross-sector and interdisciplinary bio-sciences research and enhance innovations and policies that will advance agricultural development in the region,” he added. . . .’

Read the whole article in the Daily Monitor (Uganda): Farmers to benefit from grants, 6 April 2011.

One thought on “Sweden funds innovations to drive crop production in 6 East African countries

  1. Greetings,

    We have been involved in tree nursery development and tree planting in
    Isingiro and Mbarara districts in south western Uganda for the last
    six years. In the last one year we have diversified to include fruit
    and vegetable growing in order to fight poverty at household level.
    Our program has been that of buying hills from inhabitants of this
    area and then planting trees of our choice on such hills.

    Our impact has however been minimal due to lack of funding. Many hills
    still lay bare and year by year drought threatens the livelihood of
    inhabitants. So far a 20 litre can of water in remote and poverty
    stricken village of Isingiro costs 0.5 USD while a kilogram of
    fuelwood is at 0.25USD. This is a lot money especially for communities
    whose people live on less than a dollar a day. Something has to be
    done beyond the apparently constrained government efforts. This is why
    we are requesting for your partnership so we can obtain funds
    reasonable enough to ensure sufficient training is done before full
    scale tree planting is embarked on in this country’s sub-region.

    I will be grateful if you offer me guidelines for research participation, training and grant access (if
    any) from your organisation.

    Thank you

    Moses Nuwagaba
    Project Coordinator
    Ankole Effort for Environment Conservation
    Plot 65 High street, Mbarara
    +256753462152 / +256701462152

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