Exploring opportunities for Africa-Japan research for development partnerships

On 16 June 2016, the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub hosted a symposium to explore opportunities for collaborations with Japanese research institutions in research, capacity building and technology transfer activities that will impact smallholder agricultural productivity in Africa.

The June symposium which brought together scientists from Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) and Hiroshima University (Japan); the BecA-ILRI Hub; ILRI; other CG centers; and African national agricultural research systems (NARS) was a follow up of earlier discussions held between the BecA-ILRI Hub and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) in Nairobi. The event was organized by postdoctoral scientist Dr Josiah Mutuku, who was a JSPS fellow and worked at the Ken Shirasu lab at RIKEN, Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Yokohama Japan prior to joining the BecA-ILRI Hub.

Group photo of participants of the BecA-ILRI Hub/JSPS Symposium in Nairobi 16 June 2016

Presentations made during the symposium included an highlight on JSPS involvement in research for development by Mizoguchi Daisuke, director of JSPS Nairobi Station; research to support communities in Burkina Faso adapt to extreme weather by Shun Ishiyama from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto; developing “Great Green Wall Initiatives’ to control desertification and improve livelihoods in semi-arid Africa by Ueru Tanaka from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto; crop improvement strategies and research on climate smart Brachiaria grass as an alternative forage for Africa by Sita Ghimire from the BecA-ILRI Hub; developing a toolbox for managing viral diseases in common beans by Josiah Mutuku; and livestock vaccines research by Vish Nene from ILRI.

The existing triangular partnerships established between the BecA-ILRI Hub, African NARS and advanced international research institutions and universities have supported the creation of a continuum of collaborative research, capacity building and technology transfer activities for impact on agricultural productivity at the smallholder farmers’ level. Such strategic partnerships with the Japanese research community will enable the transfer of relevant technologies and products for improved agricultural productivity to smallholder farmers in sub Saharan Africa.

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Read related story:

The BecA-ILRI Hub seeks partnership with Japanese institutions for food security research in Africa

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