The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$63.24 million fund package for the implementation of a 5-year, multi-CGIAR center project dubbed â€œSupport to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africaâ€ (SARD-SC).
SARD-SC is a research, science, and technology development initiative aimed at enhancing the productivity and income derived from cassava, maize, rice, and wheatâ€”four of the six commodities that African heads of states, through the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program, have defined
as strategic crops for Africa.
The project will be co-implemented by three Africa-based CGIAR centers: IITA, Africa Rice Center, and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas. IITA is also the executing agency of the project. Another CGIAR center, the International Food Policy Research Institute, provides
support to the other centers.
The SARD-SC allowsâ€”for the first time ever in a single projectâ€”a continental coverage of the food security challenges in Africa.
The projectâ€™s goal is to enhance food and nutrition security and contribute to poverty reduction in the Bankâ€™s low-income regional member countries by working across the full value chain of each crop and addressing both food costs and employment creation. Through its value chain approach, SARD-SC will also contribute to crop-livestock integration. Its target beneficiaries are farmers and consumers, farmersâ€™ groups including youth and women, policymakers, private sector operators, marketers/traders, transporters, small-scale agricultural machinery manufacturers, and institutions.