FAO Regional Office for Africa

Africa experiencing an increasing demand for rice consumption

FAO will continue to partner with the CARD , AfricaRice, AGRA and other partners to improve domestic rice supply in Africa

(from left to right: Rivo Rakotovao, Minister fo Agric and Livestock/Madagascar; Bukar Tijani, FAO Regional Representative for Africa; Masa Iwanaga, JIRCAS; Harold Roy-Macauley, Director-General AfricaRice (Photo: @FAO Richard Bett).

25 August 2016, Nairobi - Africa is witnessing an increasing demand for rice consumption, and many countries on the continent continue to rely heavily on imports for meeting their growing rice consumption needs. This situation continues to pose serious food security challenges since rice is now recognized as a priority and strategic food security crop for the region. Against this challenge, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has positioned itself to support national governments and regional bodies to improve domestic rice supply in Africa.

Addressing a TICAD VI side event organized by the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD)  on “Progress of CARD and the Future of Rice Sector Development in Africa” in Nairobi, Mr. Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, gave the assurance that FAO would continue to partner with others to harmonize on-going work at country level to increase rice production.

He pointed out that CARD has been a very important pillar since its establishment in the development of the rice sector in Africa, and that “we are indeed witnessing a growing trend in the demand for rice consumption in Africa”.

“CARD plays a pivotal role in reducing the gap between rice production and consumption by providing support to countries in the African region”, he said, adding, “An increasing number of countries have incorporated rice self-sufficiency as a strategic element of their national food security strategy”.

According to Mr Tijani, many countries continue to receive support in such areas as national rice development strategies, capacity development of stakeholders in situation analysis and creating enabling environment for synergies among partners. He also emphasized that FAO recognizes CARD as a strong partner in the rice sector development.

In 2014, FAO launched the umbrella rice initiative, Partnership for Sustainable Rice Systems Development in Africa, under which a number of rice projects have been initiated and are currently under implementation. CARD will be one of the implementing partners of some of the project’s components.

FAO is also currently implementing two regional projects in partnership with the Japanese government. These are Strengthening Agricultural Statistics and Food Security Information in CARD countries through South-South Cooperation and Rice Value Chain research project in CARD countries that was launched at the request of African countries within TICAD.

FAO continues to mobilize resources in support of the rice initiative, and has launched a number of projects in CARD member countries in the region. Some of these projects in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria include capacity development and experience-sharing for sustainable rice value chain development in Africa.

Partnership for Sustainable Rice Systems Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

This proposed project will provide an opportunity to build on on-going initiatives and partnerships by assessing the national rice development strategies to identify strengths and gaps in the local rice value chain. 

More importantly, the project will allow the mobilization of all relevant partners and necessary resources toward the formulation of a new vision for the development of the African rice sector that articulates effective, active and productive partnerships.

These partnerships are encouraged with the appropriate actors at different levels (community, district, national, sub-regional, continental and global) as well as farmers’ associations, with the aim to link public and private institutions involved in research, policies, production, economics and environment, strengthen the integration of women and youth in business, and mainstream gender in the different components of the rice value chains.

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