Friday, December 9, 2011

Enhancing smallholder access to improved rice technologies in West and Central Africa

The phase 1 of the IFAD-funded project ‘Enhancing Smallholder Access to NERICA for Alleviating Rural Poverty in West and Central Africa’ came to an end in December after 4 years of activities. A final workshop was held, 6–8 December, in Cotonou, to enable the regional project coordinator and national project coordinators from Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea and Sierra Leone to discuss the project’s achievements and challenges. The participants explored the way forward in order to ensure the sustainability of the results achieved in phase 1, highlighting the need for facilitating market access for seed and grain producers, promotion of value addition for income generation, and strengthening stakeholders’ capacities in seed production, marketing and enterprise development. The main recommendation was to move from a seed-production focus that was dominant in phase 1 to a rice value-chain focus in phase 2.