Approximately $4 million in funding has been announced for the launch of 4 different innovation centres by the Innovation Lab for Feed the Future Crop Improvement (ILCI).

These centres are aimed at developing more resilient and nutritious crops for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. In addition, these centres will act as regional centres for crop improvement, promoting tools, technologies and methods that focus on essential crops for food security.

The selected Innovation Centres will be hosted by four NARIs in East Africa, West Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean included:

  • Uganda: East Africa Innovation Centre for millet and sorghum. Managed by the National Institute for Semi-Arid Resources Research in Uganda.
  • Senegal: Crop innovation in West Africa will lead to genetic benefits and rapid development of sorghum, pearl millet and cowpea varieties, led by the Agricultural Research Institute of Senegal.
  • Malawi: Crop Improvement Innovation Centre for Eastern and Southern Africa, run by the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi.
  • Costa Rica and Haiti: The Crop Improvement Alliance of Central America and the Caribbean will focus on common beans, sorghum and sweetpotato and will be hosted by the National Institute of Agricultural Innovation and Technology Transfer of Costa Rica and Quisqueya University in Haiti.

Stephen Kresovich, programme director and professor of plant breeding and genetics at the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “Together we are creating impact and forming sustainable solutions to reduce hunger locally and globally. The Innovation Centre will have a lasting impact on food security for many years to come.

The Crop Improvement Innovation Lab was founded in October 2019 with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the US government’s Feed the Future global food security and hunger initiative. The multi-institution laboratory is based in the Department of Global Development.

ILCI equips each NARI with the power to define its goals and drive progress in crop improvement to reduce undernutrition and hunger and to provide equitable benefits to women and young people.

Hale Ann Tuffan, Director of the Innovation Lab and Global Development Outreach Partner said, “We are committed to jointly developing sustainable solutions with national programmes in ways that are responsive to your needs and those of local communities.