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The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) is a leading pan-African rice research organization committed to improving livelihoods in Africa through strong science and effective partnerships. AfricaRice is a CGIAR Research Center – part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future. It is also an intergovernmental association of African member countries. Recognizing the strategic importance of rice for Africa and the effective geographic expansion of the Center – which was constituted as the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) in 1971 – its Council of Ministers took a historic decision in September 2009 to officially change its name to “Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)” and to no longer refer to it as WARDA. Its mission is to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in Africa, through research, development and partnership activities aimed at increasing the productivity and profitability of the rice sector in ways that ensure the sustainability of the farming environment.