6 August 2010 | EN SciDev Net
Japan's initiative aims to develop superior strains of rice in Uganda
Uganda hopes to become the region's leader in rice research with the opening later this year of a US$6 million centre at its crop research institute.
The National Crop Resources Research Institute (NACRRI) received the money from Japan in September last year for the construction of a training and research centre for rice farmers and scientists, which is now nearing completion.
The centre will promote North-South collaboration in research and technology transfer, said Geoffrey Asea, head of the cereal department at NACRRI, and "will be fully operational by December".
The investment is part of Japan's attempt to position itself as a strategic business partner to East African countries by investing in a range of infrastructure, food production and trade projects under the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) initiative.
On the TICAD IV platform Japan launched the Coalition for African Rice Development initiative whose goal was to double rice production between 2008 and 2018.