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Mar 14, 2012

African Great Lakes - Burundi, DRC & Rwanda Recommit Funding To Joint Agricultural Research Centre

Photo: Economist Intelligence Unit

On 14 March 2012 SciDev.Net reported that agricultural ministers in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda had agreed to recommit to funding the Institute of Agricultural and Zootechnical Research (IRAZ). This agricultural research center is located in Lubumbashi, DRC. It was established in 1979 to conduct research aimed at fighting plant and animal diseases. There has been no research conducted at the institute since 2009 due to lack of funding. Starting next month, each country will donate an estimated US$1.2 million every three years to IRAZ.

IRAZ's new funding will be focused, with special emphasis given to fighting key viruses infecting cassava, banana, and poultry.  This includes the cassava mosaic disease, banana bacterial wilt disease and Newcastle disease.  All three are attacking native food sources, increasing the chances of food insecurity.

According to UN World Food Programme, "In 2010, in the east of DRC alone, more than 14,000 acres of banana were destroyed by bacterial wilt diseases, and nearly 220,000 tonnes of bananas were lost."

For more see: Kabongo, Honoré.  "Great Lakes ministers to revive agricultural research centre," SciDev.Net, 14 March 2012.  

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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