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[NAIROBI] A Ugandan project that promotes the development of herbal medicine and preservation of traditional knowledge has won a US$20,000 award from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

The Rukararwe Partnership Workshop for Rural Development (RPWRD), a consortium of traditional healers and experts, was announced winner of the Innovation Marketplace award last week at CGIAR's Annual General Meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya.

The project aims to preserve indigenous knowledge by transferring resources from forests to farms. It assists two herbalist associations in the western Uganda district of Bushegi to grow herbs on farms in a bid to help them pass on knowledge to other generations.

On receiving the award, RPWRD programme officer Anke Weisheit said that the award was true recognition of the role that traditional knowledge plays in global development and especially in Africa.

"People always see herbal knowledge as a primitive science with very few wishing to venture into it," she said. "Today’s award will go far in convincing them that it's as serious a science as others".

The RPWRD was selected from ten finalists from across Africa, including a waste recycling project in Ghana, an initiative to brand and market traditional leafy vegetables in Kenya and a project linking HIV/AIDS prevention with food production.

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