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Directors General of AIRCA Meet at ICBA

  • Directors General of AIRCA Meet at ICBA
    Directors General of AIRCA Meet at ICBA
23 April 2013
 Directors General of the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA)met in Dubai to take the opportunity to discuss the progress and plans for this coalition of international agricultural research and development centers. 

AIRCA is a unique partnership of nine centers working together to improve rural food security and livelihoods within the framework of inclusive and sustainable landscapes. Eight of the nine AIRCA Centers were represented at the meeting, hosted by the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) Headquarters including Dr. Trevor Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer of CABI, (current Chair of the group), Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA, Prof. Christian Borgemeister, Director General of icipe (African Insect Science for Food and Health), Dr. Dyno Keatinge, Director General of the World Vegetable Center, Dr. J. Coosje Hoogendoorn, Director General of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Dr. David Molden, Director General of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Dr. Amit Roy, President and Chief Executive Officer of IFDC, and Dr. José Joaquín Campos Arce, Director General of CATIE.

As Dr. Nicholls pointed out, “AIRCA is a relatively new association of independent research centers and agriculture [that] we formed one year ago at a meeting in Rome. CABI was one of the founding organizations, and I have had the honour to chair AIRCA for the first year. We have made some very positive steps in that time and this meeting aims to consolidate that progress and make plans to take the group forward in the next coming year, building on the good foundations that we have already established. It is also my great pleasure to hand over the Chair of the association to Dr Ismahane Elouafi; so the Chair will sit with ICBA for the coming twelve months. I think it is a very exciting alliance of organizations in agricultural research and development that have a focus on impact and the implementation of research, putting it into use for the benefit of farmers. We each bring different strengths in what is a very large task, but we all share a focus on the smallholder and on taking smallholders move from subsistence to sustainability and out of poverty into prosperity by helping them make a business out of agriculture,” he added. Prof. Borgemeister remarked that AIRCA is a fantastic platform for like-minded research and development centers to pool some of their knowledge, some of their technologies, and to bring them together to create impact across the globe. He said, “We [icipe] particularly work in Africa; we have number of partners, here in the AIRCA alliance, that are also interested in working in Africa and I am very optimistic that within the next twelve months we will see a translation of the idea of AIRCA into action in the field.” Commenting on her appointment as the Chairperson of the AIRCA board, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi said, “I am much honored to serve as the Chairperson of AIRCA Board for the next twelve months; I have large shoes to fill, with a great work done by my colleague Dr. Trevor Nicholls over the past year. I look forward to keeping the momentum as we have a great year ahead of us with several key milestones in the pipeline.” Ismahane added that ICBA regards its relationship with AIRCA as a strategic relationship and is in line with the new ICBA strategy for 2013-2023.