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Seed marketing with SMS
FAO is using novel ways of delivering quality seed to farmers. Last week, national staff from Côte d’Ivoire participated in a training workshop on mobile technology-based information systems, which will help to enhance seed marketing in the country.
A two-week training was organised by the Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP) and the Emergency and Rehabilitation Division (TCE) of FAO on how to administer and update the pilot information system for the production and commercialization of rice seeds that is being prepared for Côte d’Ivoire. This training workshop is a key activity of the regional project on sustainable intensification of rice production (in short APRAO) organised together with Ministry of Agriculture, the Inter-professional Funds for agricultural research and extension (FIRCA), the National Extension Service for Rural Development (ANADER) and the National Association of Seed Producers in Ivory Coast (ANASEMCI). The Inter-professional Funds for agricultural research and extension (FIRCA) is a key partner in the process and is funding this initiative substantially.
Rice is an increasingly essential crop in Côte d’Ivoire, and other West African nations. Its consumption is estimated to around 58 kg per inhabitant each year in Ivory Coast. Rice is also an important source of income for 10% of the active population, of which 50% are women. However, national rice production only covers 42% of needs; the remaining rice consumed is secured from external sources.
In order to lessen dependence from rice importations and to fight food insecurity, the Government of Ivory Coast has developed a national strategy for the rice sector. By targeting independence from rice imports, the strategy points out to the importance of the use of quality seeds as a mean to improve and increase national rice production. APRAO was launched in 2010 to help enhancing national rice production in a sustainable way, giving large priority to the seed production and utilisation.