Partnership Aims to Double Africa’s Rice Production
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) announced that it will embark on a joint initiative with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aimed at doubling rice production in Africa by 2018. The initiative follows a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the organizations with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) last year. The partnership, formalized at the second General Meeting of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) held in Tokyo, is expected to increase the flow of support to African institutions promoting rice development, AGRA said in a press release.
Rice is quickly becoming a major staple food in Africa. According to AGRA, the demand for rice in sub-Saharan Africa is double the rate of population growth. Although rice production in the continent has increased significantly over the last five decades, much of the increase is based on expanding the area devoted to the crop and not from higher yields.
AGRA President Namanga Ngongi said: "Deepening cooperation between AGRA and JICA is an important step toward significantly boosting rice production by Africa's smallholder farmers, which will reduce costly food imports and move the continent further toward food security."
Read the press release at http://www.agra-alliance.org/content/news/detail/932/
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)