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Tanzania is among countries which will benefit from a programme that provides grants to scientists working to improve food production and environmental management in eastern Africa region. The five-year (2011-2015) 18trillion/- bio-innovative programme was launched at the headquarters of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi on Wednesday. It will be implemented in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, as well as Ethiopia. The programme is aimed at making the region attain food sufficiency and possibly record surplus farm produce in future. Tanzania is the only country in the group already having an agricultural development drive under the ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ initiative. Mr Carlos Sere, the ILRI’s Director General, said during the launch that; “By emphasizing innovations to help drive crop production in the six partner countries, bio-innovate is working at the heart of one of the region’s greatest challenges.” The challenge, he said, is providing enough food in the face of climate change, diversifying crops and addressing productivity constraints that are threatening the livelihoods of millions.” The newly established Bioresources Innovation Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) Programme – the first in Africa – provides competitive grants to African researchers who are working with the private sector and NGOs to find ways to improve food security, boost resilience to climate change and identify environmentally sustainable ways of producing food. Read more… (Tanzania Daily News)

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