Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New video on AfricaRice GEM rice parboiling technology

A video on the improved GEM parboiling rice system, which has started to make a difference in the lives of over 450 women rice parboilers in the Glazoué rice hub in Benin, has been produced. 

AfricaRice has developed and established the GEM system in Glazoué using an innovation platform approach along the rice value chain thanks to the project "Support to Agricultural Research for strategic crops in Africa" (SARD-SC) with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Appropriate training has allowed women to explore the GEM method and its advantages that include the following: 
• Reduction of post-harvest losses; 
• Parboiling a large quantity of rice in a limited period of time; and 
• Improving the quality of rice that better meets consumer demands. 

The innovation platform approach has promoted the creation of good business relations between the various stakeholders in the rice value chain by bringing together all the stakeholders.

As a result, rice consumers are progressively being attracted to the locally produced parboiled rice in Glazoué, leading to increase in incomes of women parboilers. In addition to the beneficiaries from Glazoué rice hub, the training included women processors from Malanville in northern Benin and 10 young entrepreneurs.

This video is produced by AfricaRice and SARD-SC.

Related link : 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

AfricaRice honored by FAO for outstanding contributions to food security and sustainable agriculture in Africa

The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) received the 70th anniversary commemorative medal of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for outstanding contributions and remarkable collaboration in support of FAO’s mission.

On behalf of the FAO Director General, the FAO Representative in Côte d’Ivoire Mr Germain Dasylva handed over the medal and the commemorative publication “70 YEARS OF FAO 1945-2015” to the AfricaRice Director General Dr HaroldRoy-Macauley at a simple award ceremony held on 14 December 2015 at the FAO Office in Abidjan.

“We are very pleased to announce that AfricaRice was selected for this award based on a rigorous and competitive process,” stated Mr Dasylva. Highlighting the important work of AfricaRice, he gave the example of the emergency projects in Côte d’Ivoire carried out from 2006 to 2012, where seed of improved rice varieties developed by AfricaRice were distributed by FAO to vulnerable households.

The award ceremony was attended by FAO and AfricaRice representatives as well as by the Director General of Scientific Research and Innovation, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research Prof. Séraphin Kati-Coulibaly, who is also AfricaRice Board Member.

Gratefully accepting the award on behalf of AfricaRice and its 25 member States, Dr Roy-Macauley said that AfricaRice considers FAO as a strategic development partner in its quest to realize Africa’s huge rice potential to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in the continent.

“We are convinced that Africa has the human, physical and economic resources to produce enough quality rice in a sustainable manner to feed itself and in the long run to export to other regions,” reiterated Dr Roy-Macauley.

He explained that to achieve this goal more attention needs to be paid to improving the entire value chain. AfricaRice is developing a business model around this concept based on the solid experience of Côte d’Ivoire and other leading countries in the region.

Both Mr Dasylva and Dr Roy-Macauley referred to the COP21 climate agreement and its relevance for Africa, which is most vulnerable to climate change.

“AfricaRice is increasingly putting emphasis on the development of climate-smart and gender-sensitive technologies for a productive, resilient rice sector in Africa, based on a sustainable management of natural resources,” Dr Roy-Macauley said.

He added that efforts are also being put on rice innovation that will respond to the creation of employment and incomes especially for women and youth.

Speaking on the different institutional strengths of FAO and AfricaRice to make a more significant contribution to Africa’s food security needs in terms of rice, Dr Roy-Macauley said that FAO has vast networks, strong technical expertise and long-term commitment to rice research and development in Africa.

AfricaRice and FAO are actively participating in several important initiatives such as the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD). Moreover, the Declaration of the Third Africa Rice Congress held in October 2013 requested FAO to stimulate national, regional and global partnerships to help develop Africa's rice sector.

Dr Roy-Macauley mentioned that discussions during his recent meeting with the FAO Director General focused on the need for strong demonstration and visibility of the partnership efforts.

“That is why AfricaRice and FAO are especially conceptualizing the organization of an African Heads of State summit in 2016, which we are convinced will play a critical role in boosting rice sector development, in cross-cutting areas, and in particular related to the policy domain,” explained Dr Roy-Macauley.

Congratulating AfricaRice for the FAO award, Prof. Kati-Coulibaly said that this sends out a strong signal of encouragement to the Center to continue in its efforts to help African countries, including Côte d’Ivoire, attain their ambition of rice self-sufficiency. “Côte d’Ivoire needs the strong support of both FAO and AfricaRice.” 

Related links :

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

AfricaRice sets dates for 2016 Science Week and GRiSP-Africa Forum

AfricaRice is pleased to announce that its 2016 Science Week and Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP)-Africa Forum will be held, 1-5 February 2016, at its regional center in Cotonou, Benin.

The Science Week serves as the annual review, reflection and planning event for the Center and its research and development partners from around the world. It is held under the framework of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), a CGIAR Research Program on rice.

International and national rice research and development partners from the public and private sectors, including representatives of national research and extension programs of about 30 African countries are expected to participate in this event.

The main objectives of the 2016 AfricaRice Science Week and GRiSP-Africa Forum are to discuss results obtained in 2015 and carry out effective and efficient planning of rice research-for-development (R4D) activities in 2016.

In addition to updates on GRiSP-Africa R4D activities and meetings of the Africa-wide Rice Task Forces and the Rice Sector Development Hubs, the Science Week’s program will include among others brainstorming sessions on improved seed delivery, long-term agronomic trials related to soil fertility management,  knowledge sharing  and innovation platforms in rice value chains.

AfricaRice a fixé les dates de la Semaine scientifique 2016 et du Forum GRiSP-Afrique

AfricaRice a le plaisir d’annoncer que sa Semaine scientifique 2016 et le Forum du Partenariat mondial de la science rizicole (GRiSP)-Afrique se tiendront du 1er au 5 février 2016 dans sa station régionale de Cotonou au Bénin.

La Semaine scientifique est un événement de revue annuelle, de réflexion et de planification pour le Centre et ses partenaires de la recherche et du développement dans le monde entier. Elle se tient dans le cadre du Partenariat mondial de la science rizicole (GRiSP), un Programme de recherche du CGIAR sur le riz.

Les partenaires internationaux et nationaux de recherche et de développement rizicoles des secteurs public et privé, y compris les représentants des programmes nationaux de recherche et de vulgarisation de près de 30 pays africains devraient prendre part à cet événement.

Les principaux objectifs de la Semaine scientifique 2016 d’AfricaRice et du Forum GRiSP-Afrique sont les suivants : 1) discuter des résultats obtenus en 2015 et 2) faire une planification effective et efficiente des activités de recherche rizicole pour le développement (R4D) en 2016.

Outre le point sur les activités de R4D du GRiSP-Afrique et les réunions des Groupes d’action rizicoles à l’échelle de l’Afrique et des Pôles de développement du secteur rizicole, le programme de la Semaine scientifique inclut entre autres des sessions de brainstorming sur la livraison des semences améliorées, les essais agronomiques à long terme liés à la gestion de la fertilité des sols, le partage des connaissances et les plateformes d’innovation dans les chaînes de valeur du riz. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

AfricaRice App now available on Apple iTunes

“AfricaRice” App is now available for download for free through the iTunes App Store

Additionally, in your App store you can also locate the app through search terms such as “AfricaRice”.

Available for iOS platform, this App will provide users with easier access to current updates and latest information on jobs, news, publications, videos, photos and podcasts.   It has links to AfricaRice social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and a customized newspaper built from articles, blog posts, videos and photos selected by AfricaRice and CGIAR Consortium relating to agricultural research and development.

“AfricaRice” App is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and it requires iOS 7.1 or later. The mobile phone application uses both the features of a smartphone and internet connectivity.

Download the App from iTunes App Store  or just type www.africarice.org/mobile  on any mobile browser and then save to bookmarks.

Related links : 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nouvelle vidéo sur la façon dont les riziculteurs africains peuvent réduire les problèmes de Striga dans leur culture

Une vidéo d’instruction de paysan à paysan sur l’adventice parasite Striga et la gestion des sols en riziculture de plateau a été produite par le Centre du riz pour l’Afrique (AfricaRice) et ses partenaires dans le cadre du projet financé par la Banque africaine de développement 'Appui à la recherche agricole pour le développement des cultures stratégiques en Afrique (SARD-SC)’.

Le Striga constitue un problème qui est largement répandu en riziculture de plateau en Afrique subsaharienne. La vidéo explique les principes agronomiques qui aident les riziculteurs à réduire les problèmes de Striga dans leur culture. La vidéo de 21 minutes montre quatre différents principes qui contribuent à la réduction de l’infestation par le Striga :

1. La rotation des cultures ou les cultures intercalaires, y compris les espèces légumineuses
2. Le semis direct dans les résidus de la culture précédente sans labour du sol
3. La fertilisation du sol avec des engrais chimiques et organiques, et
4. L’utilisation d’une variété de riz résistante au Striga.

Les trois premières pratiques profitent aussi beaucoup à la conservation et à la fertilité du sol. Les paysans décrivent dans leurs propres mots leurs expériences avec ces pratiques et expliquent pourquoi et comment elles sont faites.

La vidéo est le produit d’une collaboration étroite entre AfricaRice, l’organisation française de recherche agricole pour le développement (CIRAD), le programme national de Madagascar (FOFIFA) et l’Association pour le semis direct à Madagascar (GSDM). La vidéo est disponible sur le site YouTube d’AfricaRice dans cinq langues : l’anglais, le français, le malgache, le swahili et le portugais.

Striga Management --  https://youtu.be/EguvQQDV1Wo

La gestion du Striga -- https://youtu.be/AHENJmVfCZM

Ady aminy Striga -- https://youtu.be/arn5AstS0Jo

Udhibiti wa viduha -- https://youtu.be/n3rMGOh3QVU

Maneio de Striga -- https://youtu.be/AyQL21x7ObU

Thursday, November 12, 2015

New video on how African rice farmers can reduce Striga problems in their crop

A farmer-to-farmer instruction video on the parasitic weed Striga and soil management in upland rice has been produced by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and its partners as part of the African Development Bank-funded project ‘Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC).

Striga is a widespread problem in upland rice in sub-Saharan Africa. The video explains the agronomic principles that help rice farmers to reduce Striga problems in their crop. The 21-minute video shows four different principles that contribute to a reduction in Striga infestation:

1. Crop rotation or intercropping, including leguminous species
2. Direct seeding in previous crop residues without soil tillage
3. Fertilizing the soil with chemical and organic fertilizers, and
4. The use of a Striga-resistant rice variety

The first three practices also strongly benefit soil conservation and soil fertility. Farmers describe in their own words their experiences with these practices and explain why and how it is done. 

The video is a product of a close collaboration among AfricaRice, the French agricultural research for development organization (CIRAD), the national program of Madagascar (FOFIFA) and the Association of Direct Seeding in Madagascar (GSDM). The video is available in five languages, English, French, Malagasy, Swahili and Portuguese on AfricaRice YouTube site.

Striga Management --  https://youtu.be/EguvQQDV1Wo

La gestion du Striga -- https://youtu.be/AHENJmVfCZM

Ady aminy Striga -- https://youtu.be/arn5AstS0Jo

Udhibiti wa viduha -- https://youtu.be/n3rMGOh3QVU

Maneio de Striga -- https://youtu.be/AyQL21x7ObU

Monday, October 26, 2015

Increasing rice production in Africa to enhance food security

Why does Africa import so much rice? What are the enabling policies needed to increase Africa’s rice production on a sustainable basis? What is the role of African governments in enhancing rice production?

Dr Harold Roy-Macauley, AfricaRice Director General, addresses these critical questions in his article on ‘Increasing rice production in Africa to enhance food security’ published in the Africa Policy Review 2015 (pages 135-137).

To read the full article, visit http://online.fliphtml5.com/qszh/fcpk/#p=135

The Africa Policy Review is a reference tool that seeks to promote policy dialogue and development in Africa. The editorial contributors to this publication draw on a vast range of technical and professional expertise to share specialist knowledge and insights that will serve as an invaluable information resource for policymakers and practitioners, development experts and industry leaders.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

AfricaRice Board of Trustees elects a new Chair

The 38th meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)  was held between September 7 and 10 at M’bé near Bouaké, its main research station in Côte d’Ivoire, for the first time in 12 years following the civil crisis that forced the Center to scale down its activities in that country.   The Board meeting – an important signal marking the full return of the Center to Côte d’Ivoire – was warmly welcomed by both the government and traditional authorities. A colorful closing ceremony, attended by the local government administrator of Bouaké, Mr Konin Aka, and an array of community leaders from M’Bé, dressed in their full traditional regalia, expressed their joy on the return of AfricaRice to the community.

Prof. Eric TollensDuring the meeting, the Board of Trustees elected a new Board Chair, Professor Eric Tollens, to succeed the current Chair, Dr Peter Matlon, after March 2016.  Prof. Tollens, who joined the AfricaRice Board in 2013, has served on several CGIAR Center Boards. He led the External Program Management Review (EPMR) for WARDA (now AfricaRice) in 2008 and serves on the Scientific and Technical Committees of both the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) and Institut sénégalais de recherches agricoles (ISRA).

Prof. Tollens obtained his PhD degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University in 1975. He was Professor of Agricultural Economics, Catholic University of Leuven (K U Leuven) from 1983 to 2009 and is currently Emeritus Professor. He is a member of many professional bodies and sits on the review panels of many international journals.

The Board meeting also featured the AfricaRice management report presented by the Director General, Dr Harold Roy-Macauley. The Board was informed on progress in the preparation of the pre-proposal for the new CGIAR Research Program on Rice Agri-Food Systems (RAFS). RAFS will build on the CGIAR Research Program on Rice – the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) and will strengthen in particular research on rice processing and marketing and rice-based production systems, given the changing climate and the need to increase rice productivity per unit of land, water, labor and energy to meet the needs of rapidly rising demand for rice across the continent.

The Board was impressed by the product-focused, demand-led breeding approach implemented by AfricaRice in partnership with national agricultural research institutions from 30 sub-Saharan African countries and international research institutions under GRiSP, led globally by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and in Africa by AfricaRice. The Board agreed with the proposed new breeding strategy that received strong support from the recently conducted Center-Commissioned External Review (CCER) to concentrate early stages of breeding at AfricaRice’s 700-ha research facility located near M'Bé in Cote d’Ivoireusing rapid generation advancement techniques.

The Board also deliberated on the Center’s preparations for the up-coming 30th meeting of the AfricaRice Council of Ministers (COM) scheduled for December 3 and 4, 2015, in Kampala, Uganda. Management explained to the Board of Trustees the necessary decisions that the 30th COM would be taking to further strengthen the Center in the context of a rapidly changing business environment, to ensure financial sustainability, and to better work with and serve the Center’s privileged clients, its member States.

The Board Chair, Dr Peter Matlon, led members of the Board to pay a courtesy visit to the Ivorian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, H.E. Gnamien Konan. Dr Matlon, on behalf of the Board, once again, expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Côte d’Ivoire for the support being provided to AfricaRice especially at this time of the Center’s full return to the country. He underlined the importance of the Minister’s personal commitment in advancing a number of dossiers on AfricaRice, and thanked him for his steadfast support.

Finally Dr Peter Matlon led members of the Board of Trustees on another courtesy visit to the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, who was also a former Principal Economist and Coordinator of the West Africa Rice Economics Task Force at WARDA (now AfricaRice). Dr Matlon briefed the AfDB President on the growing progress being made by the Center, and the challenges facing AfricaRice. The AfDB President reiterated his vision of ensuring food sufficiency on the African continent, promised AfDB’s support to agricultural research and technology development to achieve food self-sufficiency and welcomed a partnership with AfricaRice to meet that common goal.

Related links :

Le Conseil d’administration d’AfricaRice nomme un nouveau Président

Pour la première fois en 12 ans, depuis la crise civile qui a forcé le Centre à réduire ses activités en Côte d’Ivoire, la 38e réunion du Conseil d’administration (CA) d’AfricaRice s’est tenue du 7 au 10 septembre à M’bé, près de Bouaké, sa principale station de recherche en Côte d’Ivoire. La réunion du CA, un important signal marquant le retour définitif du Centre en Côte d’Ivoire, a reçu un accueil chaleureux du gouvernement et des autorités traditionnelles.
Une cérémonie de clôture riche en couleurs a vu la participation du préfet du département de Bouaké, M. Konin Aka, et un ensemble de chefs coutumiers de la communauté de M’Bé, portant leurs tenues traditionnelles ont exprimé leur joie quant au retour d’AfricaRice au sein de la communauté.

Prof. Eric TollensLors de la réunion du Conseil d’administration, un nouveau président du CA a été élu, Professeur Eric Tollens, qui succédera au Président actuel, Dr Peter Matlon, après mars 2016. Prof. Tollens, qui a rejoint le CA d’AfricaRice en 2013, a servi plusieurs Conseils d’administration des Centres du CGIAR. Il a dirigé la Revue externe des programmes et de la gestion (REPG) de l’ADRAO (maintenant AfricaRice) en 2008, et est membre des Comité scientifique et technique du CORAF/WECARD et de l’Institut sénégalais de recherches agricoles (ISRA).

Prof. Tollens a obtenu son doctorat en économie agricole de Michigan State Université en 1975. Il a été Professeur d’Économie agricole dans Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgique, de 1983 à 2009. Il est actuellement professeur émérite à UCL. Il est membre de plusieurs corps professionnels et siège dans des panels de revue de plusieurs journaux internationaux.

Lors de la réunion du CA, le rapport de gestion d’AfricaRice a été présenté par le Directeur général, Dr Harold Roy-Macauley. Le CA a été informé de la préparation de la pré-proposition du nouveau programme de recherche du CGIAR sur les systèmes agro-alimentaires sur le riz (RAFS). RAFS se basera sur le Programme de recherche du CGIAR sur le riz – le Partenariat mondial de la science rizicole (GRiSP) – et renforcera en particulier la recherche sur la transformation et la commercialisation du riz et des systèmes à base de riz, en fonction du changement climatique et du besoin d’accroître la productivité rizicole par unité de terre, d’eau, de main-d’œuvre et d’énergie pour satisfaire les besoins d’une demande en riz en forte croissance sur l’ensemble du continent.

Le CA a été impressionné par l’approche de sélection axée sur les produits mise en œuvre par AfricaRice en partenariat avec les instituts nationaux de recherche agricole de 30 pays d’Afrique subsaharienne et des institutions de recherche internationales sous l’égide du GRiSP, dirigé sur le plan mondial par l'Institut international de recherche sur le riz (IRRI) et en Afrique par AfricaRice.

Le CA a accueilli la nouvelle stratégie de sélection variétale proposée en vue de focaliser sur les étapes initiales de la sélection variétale dans la station d’AfricaRice de 700 ha située près de M’bé en Côte d’Ivoire en utilisant les techniques d’avancement rapides des générations. Cette stratégie a été fortement soutenue par la Revue externe commissionnée par le Centre (CCER) conduite récemment.

Le CA a également délibéré sur les préparations du Centre pour la 30e réunion prochaine duConseil des ministres d’AfricaRice (CM) prévue les 3 et 4 décembre 2015 à Kampala en Ouganda. Le Management a expliqué au CA la nécessité des décisions qui seront prises lors du 30e CM en vue de renforcer davantage le Centre dans le contexte d’un environnement d’affaires changeant rapidement, d’assurer la durabilité financière, et de mieux travailler et servir les clients privilégiés du Centre à savoir les États membres.

Le président du CA, Dr Peter Matlon et les membres du CA ont rendu une visite de courtoisie au Ministre ivoirien de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche scientifique, S.E. Gnamien Konan. Dr Matlon, au nom du CA, a encore une fois exprimé sa gratitude au gouvernement et au peuple de Côte d’Ivoire pour l’appui fourni à AfricaRice, notamment en cette période de retour définitif du Centre dans le pays. Il a souligné l’importance de l’engagement personnel du ministre à faire avancer un certain nombre de dossiers sur AfricaRice, et l’a remercié de son appui indéfectible.

Enfin, Dr Peter Matlon et les membres du CA ont rendu une autre visite de courtoisie au Président de la Banque africaine de développement (BAD), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, qui était aussi l'ancien Économiste principal et coordinateur du Groupe de travail sur l’économie en Afrique de l’Ouest à l'ADRAO (maintenant AfricaRice). Dr Matlon a briefé le président de la BAD sur les progrès du Centre et les défis auxquels est confronté AfricaRice. Le Président de la BAD a réitéré sa vision sur l’atteinte de l’autosuffisance alimentaire sur le continent africain, a promis l’appui de la BAD à la recherche agricole et à la mise au point de technologies en vue d’atteindre l’autosuffisance alimentaire et s’est félicité du partenariat avec AfricaRice pour atteindre cet objectif commun.

Liens utiles

Monday, October 19, 2015

Appointment of Marco Wopereis as Director General of AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center

Marco Wopereis 
With the permission of Dr Marco Wopereis our Deputy Director General and Director of Research for Development (DDG/DR4D), it is with great pleasure that I would like to announce to you his appointment on Friday 16th October 2015, as the new Director General of AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center.

I would like all AfricaRice Board members, staff and partners to join me in expressing our sincere congratulations to Marco on this new appointment but also on this significant and positive evolution in his professional career. I am certain none of us in the agricultural research world will refute the fact that this is a well-deserved appointment. During such moments, we should also have in mind that Marco has not been walking alone. He has undoubtedly received  very strong family support, which merits recognition. As such, I would also like you to join me in extending our congratulations to his family.

As the saying goes “one man’s loss is another man’s gain”; AfricaRice is losing its DDG/DR4D to AVRDC’s gain. What is important to retain, however, is the fact that looking back at Marco’s track record, he has indeed made very significant contributions to AfricaRice, more especially in terms of the establishment of a solid scientific direction and foundation. He has certainly played a highly significant role in leading the implementation of the research for development program, which has ensured a sound scientific position for AfricaRice in the global rice research arena and the achievement of important successes.

I have only spent six months working directly with him and I can assure you that it has really been real quality time and pleasure for me. He has indeed facilitated my integration into AfricaRice and I do appreciate this. I also  believe that over the whole period he has been with the Institution, some of his sterling qualities have rubbed-off on some AfricaRice staff members and close associates, which should ensure business continuity in research for development work at AfricaRice. AVRDC is, therefore, lucky to have such a quality person heading it.

What would certainly be on the lips of all who know Marco now would be “Marco is more than capable and therefore will be very successful as the new DG of AVRDC”. I would like to encourage us all, however, to be more rational and wish him all the best of luck and to exhort divine support as he takes on the new position, which like all others, surely comes with its own numerous and unknown challenges to overcome.

We would also like to say to Marco, as he takes on the new challenges, “rest assured of our continued support and more especially let’s exploit the opportunities for collaboration within the context of the Rice Agri-Food System (RAFS) project in the making under Phase 2 CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), with vegetables”. It will certainly be a happy marriage for Africa.

I would like also to thank Marco for giving AfricaRice the time to prepare for a successful transition, and more importantly, for having pledged his unflinching support to the Institution, up to the time he has planned to leave in mid-April 2016. At this point in time we can only, once more, wish him well, and look forward to exploiting opportunities of continuing to work with him in his new career path.

AfricaRice Director General

Saturday, October 17, 2015

AfricaRice rededicates itself on World Food Day to boost rice production and farmers' incomes in Africa

Today, the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), along with people and organizations around the world, observed World Food Day, a day established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for action against hunger. The theme for this year’s World Food Day 2015 is ‘Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty.’ This theme has been chosen to draw global attention to the role that social protection plays in eradicating hunger and poverty.

AfricaRice is a leading pan-African research organization with a mission to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in Africa. It has recently returned its headquarters to Cote d’Ivoire.

AfricaRice research program and partnerships aim at transforming the African rice sector and breaking the chains of poverty by generating capacity for local production, processing and marketing of rice and rapidly decreasing dependence on world markets.

On this important occasion, we thank the rice farming community across Africa for putting rice on our tables and we rededicate ourselves to improving their lives through research and development. We are equally committed to helping our member countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, achieve their objective of rice self-sufficiency and break the cycle of rural poverty.

Dr Harold Roy-Macauley
AfricaRice Director General 

A l’occasion de la journée mondiale de l’Alimentation, AfricaRice réitère son engagement à booster la production rizicole et les revenus des producteurs en Afrique

Aujourd’hui, le Centre du riz pour l’Afrique (AfricaRice), à l’instar des peuples et des organisations du monde entier, a célébré la Journée mondiale de l’Alimentation, une journée proclamée par l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’Alimentation et l’Agriculture (FAO) en faveur de l’action contre la faim. Le thème de la Journée mondiale de l’Alimentation 2015 est ‘Protection sociale et agriculture : briser le cercle vicieux de la pauvreté rurale.’ Ce thème a été choisi pour attirer l’attention du monde entier sur le rôle de la protection sociale dans l’éradication de la faim et de la pauvreté.

AfricaRice est une organisation de recherche panafricaine leader ayant pour mission de contribuer à la réduction de la pauvreté et à l’atteinte de la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique. Il a récemment relocalisé son siège en Côte d’Ivoire.

Les programmes de recherche et les partenariats d’AfricaRice visent à transformer le secteur rizicole africain et à briser les chaînes de la pauvreté en générant la capacité de production, de transformation et de commercialisation du riz au niveau local et à réduire rapidement la dépendance sur les marchés mondiaux.

En cette importante occasion, nous remercions la communauté des riziculteurs du continent pour avoir contribué à mettre du riz à nos tables, et nous réitérons notre engagement à améliorer leurs vies à travers la recherche et le développement. Nous sommes également disposés à aider nos États membres y compris la Côte d’Ivoire, à atteindre leurs objectifs d’autosuffisance en riz et à briser le cycle de la pauvreté rurale.

Dr Harold Roy-Macauley
Directeur général d’AfricaRice

Friday, October 9, 2015

AfricaRice’s return to Côte d’Ivoire on track: New address of headquarters

In line with the decision of the Board of Trustees of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), most headquarters functions have been officially transferred from Cotonou, Benin to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, as part of a multi-phase return of the Center from its temporary to its permanent headquarters in Côte d’Ivoire.

AfricaRice Director General Dr Harold Roy-Macauley and the other members of the executive management committee along with support staff are now operating from Abidjan.

The Government of Côte d’Ivoire has generously offered AfricaRice a building in Abidjan to house the new headquarters in recognition of the pan-African status of the Center.

AfricaRice’s 700-hectare research station at M’bé, near Bouake, is the Center’s principal research station. A phased return of most of the research activities from Cotonou is planned.

Mailing address

Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)
Boulevard François Mitterrand
01 BP 4029, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire 
T: +225 22 48 09 10; F: +225 22 44 26 29;

AfricaRice Main Research Station
10 BP 2551,  Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire 
T :+225 31 63 25 78; F : +225 31 63 28 00

AfricaRice is a pan-African intergovernmental association of 25 African member states in West, Central, North and East Africa. AfricaRice is also one of the 15 international agricultural research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium.

AfricaRice staff members operate from Côte d’Ivoire and also from AfricaRice regional and country research stations in Benin, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.

For more information visit: www.AfricaRice.org

Le retour d’AfricaRice en bonne voie : nouvelle adresse du siège

Conformément à la décision du Conseil d’administration du Centre du riz pour l’Afrique (AfricaRice), la plupart des fonctions du siège ont été officiellement transférées de Cotonouau Bénin à Abidjan en Côte d’Ivoire, dans le cadre d’un retour progressif du Centre depuis son siège temporaire à son siège permanent en Côte d’Ivoire.

Le Directeur général d’AfricaRice, Dr Harold Roy-Macauley, les autres membres du Comité exécutif de gestion, de même que des agents d’appui travaillent à présent depuis Abidjan.

En reconnaissance du statut panafricain du Centre, le gouvernement de Côte d’Ivoire a généreusement offert un bâtiment situé à Abidjan pour abriter le nouveau siège.

L’infrastructure de recherche d’AfricaRice de 700 hectare s à M’bé, près de Bouaké, est la principale station de recherche du Centre. Un retour en phases de la plupart des activités de recherche depuis Cotonou est prévu.

Adresse postale

Siège d’AfricaRice
01 BP 4029, Abidjan 01, Côte d'Ivoire
T : +225 22 44 26 29 ; F : +225 20 22 01 33

Station de recherche d’AfricaRice
01 B.P. 2551, Bouaké 01, Côte d'Ivoire
T : +225 31 63 25 78 ; F : +225 31 63 28 00

AfricaRice est une association intergouvernementale panafricaine de 25 États membres d’Afrique de l’Ouest, du Centre, du Nord et de l’Est. AfricaRice est également l’un des 15 Centres internationaux de recherche agricole membres du Consortium du CGIAR.

Le personnel d’AfricaRice œuvre depuis la Côte d’Ivoire et les stations de recherche régionales et nationales au Bénin, au Liberia, à Madagascar, au Nigeria, au Sénégal, en Sierra Leone et en Tanzanie.

Pour de plus amples informations veuillez visiter : www.AfricaRice.org

Friday, October 2, 2015

AfricaRice’s gender-sensitive technology improves economic opportunities of women rice processors in Benin

An improved rice parboiling system – called GEM – combined with targeted training and the adoption of an innovation platform approach along the rice value chain, is starting to make a difference in the lives of more than 450 women rice parboilers in the Glazoué rice hub in central Benin. The technology is women-friendly, as it shortens the processing time, reduces drudgery and does not expose the women parboilers to heat burns.

AfricaRice’s Strategic Plan promotes cross-cutting research to benefit rural women and the development of more inclusive and gender-equitable rice value chains,” said AfricaRice Director General Dr Harold Roy-Macauley. “That is why it is important for us to keep in mind that the world community recently adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which includes gender equality, among others.”

Just two months after the GEM system was set up in Glazoué thanks to the African Development Bank-funded project ‘Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC), both the average monthly output (quantity of parboiled rice produced) and the average monthly income from this activity have more than doubled compared to those obtained using the traditional parboiling system.

With the traditional system, the women parboilers were processing only about 120 kg of paddy per session, while with the GEM technology they are already processing about 300 to 400 kg of paddy per session and plan to go up to 1 ton. A parboiling session is the period from cleaning to drying and this normally takes 2 days. The 1st day is used for cleaning and soaking while the 2nd day is used for steaming and drying.

Moreover, the quality of the parboiled rice is now similar to that of premium imported rice. “As the quality is so much better, traders from here and from Cotonou are readily buying up all our rice and are also giving us a better deal,” said Mrs Batcho Léontine, Chair of Glazoué Women Parboilers Association (UFER-C). “Now we can pay our children’s school fees and take care of medical and other household expenses without having to ask our husbands for money.”

The results showed that with the GEM technology, there was less than 2% burnt grains, 90% whole grains, zero chalkiness and zero impurity compared to about 24% burnt grains, 60% whole grains, more than 20% chalkiness and 5% impurities with the traditional system.

The GEM technology consumes much less fuel and water than the traditional system and is also safer and more durable. It is equipped with hoists and rails to lift and move the heavy vessels in which the paddy is steamed.

“The GEM technology, which can be easily built locally, provides an opportunity to improve the quality and competitiveness of locally produced rice,” said Dr Sali Ndindeng, AfricaRice Grain Quality and Postharvest Scientist, who has led the development of this technology. “But it is also important to keep in mind that improvements in rice quality require upgrading by actors throughout the value chain.”

The demand for good quality parboiled rice is high, because it is preferred in parts of Benin, Nigeria, Ghana and other countries of West and Central Africa. It is reported that the bulk of the rice imported into Benin is parboiled rice, which enters the Nigerian market through informal channels.

But, the traditional parboiling process using rudimentary equipment and methods often produces low quality rice with high levels of impurities, broken and burnt grains and undesirable smell. The process is also laborious, time-consuming, unsafe and inefficient as it requires lots of firewood and water.

Rice parboiling is carried out mainly by rural women in these regions and contributes significantly to their livelihoods. To reduce their drudgery and to improve the milling yield and quality of local rice, AfricaRice designed a prototype based on improved models from the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), Cameroon, the Food Research Institute (FRI), Ghana and the National Institute for Agricultural Research in Benin (INRAB).

The small-scale locally adapted parboiling prototype was fine-tuned in close collaboration with the McGill University, Canada, as part of a joint project with support from Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).

Experienced members of the Women Parboilers’ Association in Glazoué were consulted at every stage of the development and testing process and were trained in best practices for the various components of parboiling. These women in their turn have trained the other members of the Association from Glazoué and also a few women parboilers from Malanville, in northern Benin, which is an important hub for irrigated rice.

“The establishment and facilitation of the innovation platform (IP) along the rice value chain in the Glazoué hub has enhanced the effectiveness and sustainability of the GEM technology by helping build trust among the various actors involved in the hub,” said Dr Sidi Sanyang, Leader of the Rice Sector Development Program and SARD-SC Project Coordinator for AfricaRice.,

The actors include the rice farmers’ association (UNIRIZ-C), the women parboilers association (URFER-C), millers, input dealers, traders, blacksmiths, microfinance agencies, extension service, the nongovernmental organization Vredeseilanden (VECO), community radio as well as national and international research organizations (INRAB and AfricaRice).

“The IP encouraged farmers and entrepreneurs to participate in the rice value chain as an additional source of income,” said Dr Sanyang. “A positive indicator is that the Glazoué Town Hall is now promoting the sale and consumption of locally parboiled rice through contractual arrangements with women parboilers.”

The SARD-SC project is focusing on training in value addition, marketing, contractual arrangements, quality packaging and labeling, and leadership. It is also helping young people to become acquainted with the agri-business aspects of parboiling. Building on this successful model, AfricaRice and its partners are planning to set up a similar parboiling system within the IP process in Malanville in northern Benin.

In addition to postharvest issues, the AfricaRice agronomy task force has identified major production constraints in the Glazoué hub through yield gap and diagnostic surveys. Subsequently, through the adoption of good agricultural practices (GAP) including suitable varieties, nutrient management, and use of herbicide, rice yield increased from 1.5 to 1.9 tons per ha.

Through the Japan-funded Emergency Rice Initiative led by AfricaRice in partnership with national partners, small-scale machinery (milling machines, power tillers, reapers, and threshers) have been donated to Benin for use by the IP in the hub.

Benin is an important partner in several other AfricaRice projects. For instance, the ‘Sawah, Market Access and Rice Technologies for Inland Valleys’ (SMART-IV) – supported by Japan – which focuses on improved land development mainly for water control is showing great success. Adoption of the Smart-valleys approach has increased average farmers’ rice yields and gross margins.

AfricaRice and INRAB are jointly addressing the major challenges faced by Benin in achieving its national rice development strategy to produce 385,000 tons of milled rice by 2018. This will help the country to meet its own rice demand and export the surplus.

“Although AfricaRice’s headquarters is returning to Côte d’Ivoire, we would like to assure the government and the people of Benin that the Center’s R4D activities will continue to support the national efforts for rice self-sufficiency,” stated Dr Roy-Macauley. “That is the main reason why we have decided to have a country office in Benin with an AfricaRice country representative in charge.”