By Suleiman Okoth
AATF hosted a delegation from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) at their Nairobi Headquarter office on April 9 to discuss commercialization of rice technologies in Africa.
‘AATF has a strong partnership with private seed companies that are already licensing and commercializing its hybrid rice in East Africa. Collaboration with IRRI will contribute greatly to increase the available genetic material for hybrid rice development. AATF has robust models of increasing outreach to farmers through scaling out rice technologies via a public private partnership,’ Dr Kayode Sanni, Rice Project Manager, AATF said.
‘The partnership with African Agricultural Technology Foundation will greatly enhance the sustainable uptake of different rice technologies developed by IRRI for the benefit of smallholder farmers in Africa,’ said Dr Remy Bitoun, Head of Technology Transfer, IRRI said.
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was represented by Dr Remy Bitoun, Head of Technology Transfer and Dr Abdelbagi Ismail, Regional Representative for Eastern and Southern Africa while African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) was represented by Ms. Sofia Tesfazion the Director of Commercialization, Dr. Kayode Sanni, Rice Project Manager and Dr Gospel Omanya, Senior Manager, Projects Management and Deployment.
The discussions focused on partnership to accelerate impact of rice technologies such as hybrid rice to improve incomes and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa. Currently AATF and IRRI are jointly conducting client managed National Performance Trials (NPTs) in Kenya for both inbred and hybrid rice regulated by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).