At the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD), which took place in Montpellier, France, from 28 to 31 March, AfricaRice was crowned with two prestigious international science awards by the CGIAR: one for Outstanding Communication and another for Outstanding Promising Young Scientist.
The 2009 CGIAR Outstanding Communication Award was presented to Dr Paul Van Mele, AfricaRice program leader, Learning and Innovation Systems, for the Rice Rural Learning Initiative based on farmer-to farmer videos on improved rice production practices.
The videos, combined with mass media, have helped strengthen the capacities of over 600 farmer organizations across Africa, stimulated greater innovation than conventional farmer training techniques had done, and had tangible impact on the livelihoods of rural women.
The 2009 CGIAR Outstanding Promising Young Scientist Award was presented to Dr Jonne Rodenburg, AfricaRice weed scientist, for his commitment to help resource-poor rice farmers, especially women, through the development of integrated approaches to managing parasitic weeds, a major source of yield loss in rice in Africa.
Rodenburg was appreciated for his high-quality research, excellent record in publications, close involvement in building capacity of national scientists, and successful efforts in mobilizing resources for research projects.
“We are very proud of our two awardees, whose achievements testify to the new dynamism in research at AfricaRice,” said Director General Dr Papa Abdoulaye Seck.