Friday, June 5, 2009

Japan-funded Emergency project addresses Africa’s critical needs in rice seed and data


As part of its overall support to the Africa Rice Center’s Emergency Rice Initiative in response to the world food crisis, Japan is providing significant support to carry out activities in two major areas:  
  • Enhanced access to quality seed of improved rice varieties in selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa in 20 out of 21 Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) candidate countries;
     
  • Collection of reliable rice data in all 21 CARD countries to support the development and implementation of national rice development strategies.
The 21 CARD countries comprise Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Liberia, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo in West Africa and Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia in East Africa.


The project works in close collaboration with national research and extension systems and the private sector in the target countries.

For the seed component of this project, the West Africa regional launching meeting, followed by a training workshop, was organized in Cotonou, Benin, 27 April-1 May. The East Africa launching meeting and training workshop took place in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 4-8 May.


For the rice statistics component of this project, the West Africa regional launching meeting, followed by a training workshop, was organized in Cotonou, Benin, 11-15 May and the East Africa launching and training took place in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 1-5 June.


The project is using the Emergency Rice Initiative Spreadsheet (ERIS) that has been developed by the Africa Rice Center to assist African countries in developing strategies to boost domestic rice production.