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Mauritanian Prime Minister commends and pledges support to ICARDA’s wheat initiative

Dec 08,2015

H.E. Prime Minister of Mauritania (center), Her Excellency Minister of Agriculture (right) and Her Excellency Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (left).

Speaking at a National Conference on the Development of Wheat Production and Competitiveness of Rice in Mauritania, His Excellency the Prime Minister, Mr. Yahya Ould Hademine emphasized the strategic importance of both rice and wheat for the food security in the country, and pledged his government’s full support to “expand wheat production in the country to enhance national food security and reduce dependence on increasing wheat imports.”

Organized by ICARDA in partnership with La Direction de la Recherche de la Formation et du Conseil Agricole (DRFCA), Mauritania, 20-21 November, at Nouakchott, the conference was inaugurated by the Prime Minister in the presence of Her Excellency Lemina Mint  El Ghotob Ould Moma, the Minister of Agriculture, and Her Excellency Naha Mint Moknass, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, other high-level government officials, representatives of national and international organizations and the donor community, represented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

Mr. El Marrakchi, DRFCA Director, acknowledged ICARDA’s support through the African Development Bank funded SARD-SC Wheat Project which has aided in “the provision of improved wheat varieties, in on-farm testing and demonstration sites.” He specifically mentioned the high yielding variety Norman (up to 6.3 t/ha) which was registered in the national catalogue in 2015, and the capacity building of researchers and extension officers. There was much appreciation for the improved seed of ‘Norman’ and ‘Attila-Gan-Attila’ varieties provided to Mauritanian team through the SARD-SC Wheat Project.

Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC) is a multi-national CGIAR-led project that targets enhanced food and nutrition security and reduced poverty across sub-Saharan Africa. The project’s wheat component, managed by ICARDA, is pursuing fast-track seed multiplication activities in 11 countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing the competitiveness of domestic wheat will significantly contribute in raising self-sufficiency and reducing pressure on treasury finances.