Africa Centre of Excellence for Innovative Rodent Pest Management and Biosensor Technology Development (ACE IRPM & BTD or RAT-TECH Project), Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania.
The ACE IRPM &BTD is one among twenty three Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) established and funded by the World Bank through soft loans to eight countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique) in Eastern and Southern Africa. The ACE projects address agriculture, health, human resource development, innovations and technological challenges (including ICT) faced by communities in these countries. Each of the ACEs receives a maximum of USD 6,000, 000 through a disbursement system based on verified disbursement linked indicators and disbursement linked results. The ACEs became effective in July/August 2017 and since the programme is for a duration of five years, the funding will continue until 2022.
The ACE IRPM & BTD is addressing the following:
- Strengthening science, technology and innovation in rodent biology and management.
- Developing African-appropriate innovations that will reduce the impact of rodents on peoples’ livelihoods.
- Building regional capacity in rodent research, biosensor technology and technological innovations for rodent pest management through PhD and MSc. training programmes.
- Build capacity through training at the MSc and PhD levels in rodent taxonomy, ecology, rodent pest management, zoonoses etc. (32 PhD and 65-70 MSc. candidates given scholarships)
- Basic and applied research programs nationally and for African scientists within the region to pursue high-impact projects in rodent management
- Studies on the impact of zoonotic diseases on communities and their mitigation in east and southern Africa
- How best to use biosensor technology for various functions including diagnosis of diseases; detecting narcotics….(trafficking of ivory, endangered species, etc).
- Addressing Science, Technology and Innovations for rodent pest management
- Dissemination of scientific results and developed technologies for rodent pest management (short course training, scientific workshops, published articles, etc
Addressing specific development challenges in the following areas
Reducing the economic impact of rodents on crops (crop damage, losses)
Mitigating the health impacts of rodents on poor communities due to transmission of diseases (e.g. plague, toxoplasmosis, leptospirosis etc.)
Mitigating the impact of rodent pests on poor rural communities, thus reducing poverty in African societies
- Technology innovations
- (i) Inter-regional innovation network to increase the quality of science produced through cross-training and the sharing of best practices that address the multiplicity of problems caused by rodents in African communities
- (ii) Regional application of biosensor technology
- Human Resource Development
Building national and regional capacity through training