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 one of the initiative’s four targeted efforts to improve the productivity of strategic crops – the other three targeting cassava, maize, and rice.
With financial support from the African Development Bank (AfDB), ICARDA and its national partners are leading efforts to boost the production of wheat in 12 countries: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Lesotho.
Higher domestic production is the key to solving Africa’s increasing dependence on wheat imports – imports account for 70% of the region’s needs. SARD-SC Wheat tackles this dependence through an integrated package of interventions: the development of high-yielding, heat-tolerant wheat; fast-track seed multiplication programs; the dissemination of proven technologies and farming practices; and promoting a ‘value-chain approach’ to support domestic producers.
SARD-SC Wheat is targeting the following beneficiaries:
- Individual farmers and consumers
- Farmers’ groups including youth and women
- Policy makers
- Private sector operators
- Small-scale agricultural machinery manufacturers
- NARS partners and NGOs.
The technologies, wheat varieties, and practices developed over the course of the initiative will be made available as international public goods – extending their benefits globally.