With funding from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the BecA-ILRI Hub, together with partners from National Agricultural Research Institutions (NARIs), African universities and regulatory bodies, private sector, international research institutes, foreign universities, CGIAR and other participants designed a number of unique research projects focused on two major issues with which agricultural developments in Africa are concerned – achieving food security and climate change mitigation.
The partnership with Sweden goes beyond building up specialized skills to empowering African scientists, NARIs and universities to solve Africa’s agricultural challenges by strengthening research for development capacity in biosciences.
The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs is funding a multi-year food security program which supports research projects on crop and livestock improvement with a special emphasis on under-researched crops and livestock. Through this program the BecA-ILRI Hub receives core funding to bolster the management of the Hub facilities; develop new technology platforms and support capacity building activities including the training workshops and fellowships for African scientists through the Africa Bioscience Challenge Fund (ABCF) programme.
The bioinformatics platform has also benefited greatly from this partnership which gives scientists access to technical advice and enhanced expertise from SLU, including infrastructure upgrade.
The research component brings together scientists from 16 institutions across five African countries, the United States of America and Europe on projects to improve the productivity of a range of underutilized crops and of livestock through improved health and breeding practices. Activities under this program include:
Climate change adaptation and mitigation
The BecA-ILRI Hub’s “Climate change adaptation and mitigation Program” aims to provide smallholder farmers in arid and semi-arid areas of sub-Saharan Africa with climate-smart crops and farming systems to increase agricultural productivity in the face of harsh climate conditions. Activities under this program include: