Montpellier, 14 April 2014/ ACP Sugar Group: Upon an invitation from CIRAD, a delegation representing the ACP Sugar Subcommittee, as well as the ACP Secretariat, undertook a study tour of the CIRAD facilities in Montpellier, France on the 8th April 2014. The ACP Research Programme Coordinating Unit facilitated the study tour.

CIRAD is a French research centre working with developing countries to tackle international agricultural and development issues.

CIRAD has a wide experience on sugarcane and has been working in collaboration with tropical countries (including some ACP countries in Africa and Caribbean) for many years on agronomy, crop modelling, crop protection, breeding, genomics, mechanization, water management, supply chain management, biotechnology, biochemistry and technology, economy. It has the expertise and technical platforms in Montpellier and overseas to conduct collaborative projects with countries which include research, training, capacity building, technology transfer and Innovation. CIRAD is currently carrying out collaborative research projects in different areas that could contribute to “the reinforcement of the competitiveness of the sugarcane commodity chains and research centres capacity”.

During the visit the ACP delegation had a series of meetings with the senior management of CIRAD and was briefed on some of the major sugar research activities being undertaken by the Centre.

The ACP Sugar Subcommittee delegation and CIRAD noted the opportunity for collaboration in areas of mutual interest and benefits, both parties will need to focus on the following areas;

  1. joint research activities and exchange of information and materials between the ACP Sugar Research centres and the CIRAD’ Research Units,
  2. collaborative actions in the field of open scientific databases on public goods, as well as expertise and foresight,
  3. joint organization and/or sponsorship of training programs, workshops and seminars.

Both parties agreed to intensify contacts and cooperation between CIRAD and the various ACP sugar research centres with a view to developing concrete proposals including through a memorandum of understanding aimed at enhancing and deepening research, training, capacity building, technology transfer and innovation in the sugar sector.

The ACP delegation expressed its deep appreciation to the senior management of CIRAD for the frank exchange of views and for the reception and kind hospitality extended to the delegation during the study tour. The Subcommittee also thanked the ACP Sugar Research Programme Coordinating Unit for making all the arrangements for the study tour.

– ACP Sugar Group