Wednesday, February 25, 2009

International experts team up to stimulate rice production in Africa and Asia

An international meeting to plan a project on “Green Super Rice for the Resource-poor of Africa and Asia” was hosted by the Africa Rice Center, 24-25 February, at its regional research station in Ibadan, Nigeria.

The project aims to reduce poverty and hunger and increase food and income security of resource-poor farmers in Africa and Asia through the development and dissemination of “Green Super Rice” varieties that give high and stable yield without requiring heavy inputs.

The African component of the project will be coordinated by the Africa Rice Center and carried out in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and national programs of project countries, non-governmental organizations, farmers’ associations and the private sector. Representatives of all the project partners attended the planning meeting.

The project targets at least 5 million poor rice farmers, including 3.5 million women farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia and South Asia. The long-term (10 year) goal of the project is to increase rice production by about 10% in the rainfed and irrigated areas of those regions. In sub-Saharan Africa, the project covers Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania.