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Welcome to the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
The ACCI, founded in 2002, is situated in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SAEES) at UKZN.

It has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Rockefeller Foundation through the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an organisation set up by the two funding organisations as part  of their strategy to improve economic and agricultural sustainability in  Africa.

The ACCI trains PhD students primarily in 12 countries in southern  and eastern Africa in projects related to plant breeding and crop  improvement, to improve staple crops grown in the region. The students are trained with the view of equipping them to return to their  own countries, where their research projects are carried out, with the  goal of releasing better crop varieties, thereby strengthening the  agricultural economy of the whole continent.
ACCI Launches New Book

“An amazing journey,” was how Dr Joe DeVries described the last 15 years of the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI), when he spoke at the launch this week in Pietermaritzburg of the centre’s new book. Watch video

DeVries, who is vice president of programme development and innovation for Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), founded the ACCI in 2002 along with Professor Mark Laing, the centre’s current director. The ACCI has until now been funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and later AGRA.

The book, titled “The New Breed— Training the Next Generation of African Plant Breeders, in Africa,” tells the story of the ACCI’s trajectory from start-up hiccups in 2002 to prominance as a world-class training centre for African plant breeders. It describes how a new model for post-graduate education in the agricultural sciences was developed and how the centre’s Phd graduates—all 109 of them— have become sought after as scientists, leaders and innovative, independent thinkers.

Laing, ACCI graduate Dr Albert Changaya and Professor Kevin Kirkman, dean of research in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, also spoke at the launch. Kirkman said the ACCI has developed a successful model that the university would like to apply to other disciplines.

Click here to download a free digital version of “The New Breed”.

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