Journal Article


Funding international agricultural research and the need to be noticed: a case study of NERICA rice

Published on 1 September 2008

Creating interest and excitement around new research findings has become an important part of the research funding cycle. NERICA (New Rice for Africa) is a rice type developed by the Africa Rice Center (WARDA). Since the emergence of NERICA varieties at the turn of the millennium, claims about their characteristics and potential have been made by WARDA and repeated by many of WARDA’s funders, other development organizations and the media. This has led to large-scale support for these varieties, international accolades and continued funding. In this paper, the authors review the evidence that is in the public domain in relation to claims in three specific areas: yield potential, weed competitiveness and impacts in Guinea. It is concluded that the main claims about NERICA are not well supported, and that this has implications not only for WARDA but for the funding of agricultural research more broadly.


James Sumberg

Emeritus Fellow

Publication details

Orr, S., Sumberg, J., Erenstein, O. and Oswald, A.
Outlook on Agriculture, volume 3, issue 37


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