Crop Biotech Update

Emergency Initiative to Counter Soaring Rice Prices

June 27, 2008

An Emergency Rice Initiative for Africa has been launched by the Africa Rice Center (WARDA), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in response to the current soaring rice prices. The initiative will provide urgent assistance to rice-growing countries in the continent in four major areas: seed; fertilizer; best-bet technologies; and post-harvest and marketing.

Eleven countries have been initially selected for the emergency initiative, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. The immediate priority for the Initiative is to kick-start rice seed production during the current rainy season so that sufficient quantities of seed of improved rice varieties for major ecologies are available for sowing in 2009.

The press release is available at http://www.warda.cgiar.org/warda/newsrel-initiative-jun08.asp