NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Scientists on Wednesday launched an international
scientific alliance to fast track crop improvement in
The Alliance to
Accelerate Crop Improvements in Africa (ACACIA) will also
contribute in helping African scientists to fasten solutions to
local food security challenges.
will harness the strengths of the global scientific community,
as well as the recent advances in technology to find lasting
solutions to the challenge of food insecurity in the continent,”
the Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa (BecA-ILRI) Hub
Director Professor Jacob Mignouna said in a statement.
He noted that the
initiative will help achieve food security and to improve
nutrition through sustainable agriculture and provide African
crop researchers and institutes access to cutting edge
The initiative that
is a partnership between BecA-International Livestock Research
Institute (ILRI) Hub and John Innes Centre’s (JIC) is set to
build upon strategic and multidisciplinary partnerships to
contribute to the achievement of the second United Nations
Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) of zero hunger.
“ACACIA will build
on the existing BecA-JIC along with developing the next
generation of African crops and also support African and British
scientists,” the Director of JIC Dale Sanders noted.
that the initiative will develop a team of scientists who have a
deeper understanding of the agricultural challenges in Africa
and can connect to African scientists to achieve significant
impact through their expertise.
The partners called
for strong linkages with African National Agricultural Research
Systems, Consultative Group for the International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR) Centre and advanced international research
institutions to advance the improvement of important African
According to the
Director of ILRI Jimmy Smith, the partnership will strengthen
access to tools for crop improvement for the ultimate benefit of
smallholder farmers in the continent.
He called for more
partnerships to help Africa benefit from its agricultural sector
since a quarter of the world’s arable land is based in the
continent but generates only 10 percent of global agricultural