Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Public and private sector leaders highlight rice self-sufficiency priorities for Nigeria

Leaders of public and private sector organizations participating in a panel discussion on “Achieving self-sufficiency in rice in the African continent” have identified immediate priorities that need to be addressed in order to achieve rice self-sufficiency in sub-Saharan Africa in general and in Nigeria in particular.

The panel discussion was organized as part of the Third Edition of the Agra Innovate West Africa Conference, on 23 November 2016 in Lagos, Nigeria, with support from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG).

AfricaRice Director General Dr HaroldRoy-Macauley made a presentation on “Achieving rice self-sufficiency in Africa,” which served as a basis for an in-depth discussion by a panel of speakers consisting of Mr Ade Adefeko, Vice President and Head of Corporate and Government Relations at Olam-Nigeria; Mr Pieter Grobler, Head of Land Development at Dangote Rice Limited; and Mr Busuyi Okeowo, Deputy Team Leader at Growth & Employment in States (GEMS 4), Nigeria.

The panelists emphasized that the following priorities need to be addressed urgently:
  • Availability of accurate rice production figures and soil data, 
  • Use of high-yielding and consumer-acceptable varieties, 
  • Use of good agronomic practices to increase yield, 
  • Use of mechanization in rice production and harvesting 
  • Better organization of value chain actors and linking of rice growers to rice mills, 
  • Marketing of locally produced rice, 
  • Encouragement of private sector involvement through adequate policies and
  • Increase of investments in the rice sector by governments.

More than 1200 people participated in the Third Edition of the Agra Innovate West Africa Conference and Exhibition, which is an important tradeshow for crop production and processing and seeks to promote knowledge sharing, networking and technology transfer. 

Dr Roy-Macauley led the AfricaRice delegation, which included Dr Francis Nwilene, Country Representative in Nigeria, and Dr Abraham Shaibu, Rice Seed Expert.

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