Rice Challenge Initiative 
Generation Challenge Programme (GCP)  made a contribution to the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) to implement a 4-year project, which will test the usefulness of marker-assisted recurrent selection methodology to enhance drought resistance in rainfed lowland rice in Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria.
The project will focus on the rainfed lowland ecosystems of Sudanean and Guinean savannah areas in Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria. Within 4 years, it will establish (i) the drought profiles of the target population of environments (TPE) in inland valley lowlands; (ii) the identification of traits of interest for targeted environments, using novel phenotyping methodologies enabling an efficient separation of genetic (G) and environmental (E) effects; and (iii) the integration of the information on drought profiles with novel phenotyping methodologies in a marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) scheme to develop better adapted germplasm for each major target environment.
The project will introduce a new approach – MARS – into NARS and AfricaRice breeding programs through building capacity for modern plant breeding and establishing the systematic use of molecular tools in breeding for quantitative traits. This 4-years project will aim to build a proof concept that the application of MARS in rice, with a focus on drought as target trait, can contribute to increased yield and to change the way breeders involved in this project work

Rice Challenge Initiative project in-brief

Title: Improving rice productivity in lowland ecosystems of Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria through marker-assisted recurrent selection for drought resistance and yield potential
Short title:  Rice challenge initiative
Donor:  Generation Challenge Programme (GCP)
Duration (dates):  4 years (starting date: April 2010)
Target countries:   Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria
Project coordinator :  Dr Marie-Noëlle Ndjiondjop, AfricaRice
Lead center:  AfricaRice
CGIAR Consortium Research Programme (CRP): GRiSP Theme 1, 2 and 3
Partners:  IRRI, CIRAD, INERA-Burkina Faso, IER-Mali, NCRI-Nigeria


6-8 June 2011 GRiSP workshop for mechanization St. Louis, Senegal  
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