Friday, November 14, 2014

AfricaRice showcasing improved seed, machinery and tools

AfricaRice Interim Director General Dr Adama Traoré speaking at the Benin Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME/PME) Meeting & Exhibit, 10-14 November in Palais des Congrès, Cotonou. 

AfricaRice showcasing improved seed, machinery and tools at the Benin Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME/PME) Meeting & Exhibit, 10-14 November, in Palais des Congrès, Cotonou, Bénin.

Participants of the Second National Meeting of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME/PME) of Benin have shown keen interest in the range of rice technologies (improved seed, machinery and tools) developed by AfricaRice and its partners with support from donors, particularly Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) displayed at the exhibition. 

The meeting includes seminars and exhibition relating to SME. Invited by the meeting organizers, AfricaRice Head of Grain Quality Unit Dr John Manful presented an overview of the Center’s research and development activities and achievements. Dr Manful highlighted that AfricaRice and its R&D partners are introducing improved harvesting and postharvest practices and equipment along the rice value chain, which will help raise the incomes of farmers and processors, enhance the quality of rice, and expand the market for locally produced rice products.

A panel consisting of AfricaRice Interim Director General Dr Adama Traoré, Dr Manful and Dr Sali Atanga Ndindeng responded to questions relating to the Africa’s rice production, quality and imports. Dr Traoré explained that supportive government policies put in place after the food crisis in several countries of sub-Saharan Africa have had a positive impact on rice production. About 70% of the increase in rice production is due to yield increase and about 30% is due to area expansion, whereas before the rice crisis, it was the opposite. “This is evidence of increased use of technological innovation in the rice sector in sub-Saharan Africa.” He agreed, however, that a lot more needs to be done by all rice stakeholders in Africa to significantly reduce dependence on rice imports. 

Scènes de la deuxième édition du salon national des petites et moyennes entreprises (PME), Cotonou, Bénin, 10-14 novembre 2014

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