Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, May 12, 2014

Conference on Biotic stresses, climate change and agricultural production

Board members with staff in IITA Benin
5-7 May 2014. Cotonou, Bénin. Conference on Biotic stresses, climate change and agricultural production.

A center of excellence for research and training to link climate change with biodiversity and biotic stresses was launched this week in the IITA campus in the Republic of Benin. At the inauguration were members of the donor community, the Director General of AfricaRice, Dr Adama Traore; IITA Board Members, IITA Management team, and researchers from the national systems in the region.

The Center, which comes under the auspices of the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) has IITA, the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Bénin (INRAB), AfricaRice, Bioversity, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), and the University of Abomey Calavi (UAC) as partners but is also open to other national agricultural research systems in the West and Central African bloc.
Already, IITA has taken over the rehabilitated forest of Drabo Gbo in the Republic of Benin as a field research station linked to the Cotonou biodiversity center.

IITA Board Chair, Dr Bruce Coulman explained that "The need to establish a center of excellence is based on the fact that climate change is important and it would affect agricultural production and productivity and pest population, and so there was the need to develop strategies to mitigate this challenge. This facility will attract global attention to this very important topic.

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