FARA Strengthens Links with the Coalition for Africa Rice Development (CARD) towards the Doubling of Rice Production in Sub Saharan Africa

The need to sustain the observed momentum towards increased production and productivity of rice in Africa is a Yes-Yes action. This dominated a discussion  led by Wole Fantubi, Lead Specialist for Agricultural Innovation Systems in FARA, when Yusuke Haseishi, General Coordinator of the Coalition for Africa Rice Development (CARD)  paid a working visit to the FARA secretariat on Wednesday 17th April 2019.   Commenting on the visit of the CARD General Coordinator, the Executive Director of FARA Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, expressed the need to advance the course of development of rice in the countries with comparative advantage to produce the commodity and afterwards foster inter-regional trade on the commodity.  He also suggested that this will greatly enhance broad based prosperity on the continent that spend more than 0.5% of its total GDP on rice importation.

Yusuke Haseishi, General Coordinator of the Coalition for Africa Rice Development (CARD) and Wole Fantubi, Lead Specialist for Agricultural Innovation Systems in FARA

Barely a decade ago, total rice production on the continent stood at 14 million metric tons. It was at this stage that the CARD was formed to carry out actions with interested research and development partners including FARA.  The goal was to double the production of rice on the continent.  At the end of the first phase of the project, Africa rice production has been double  as a result of the initiatives, the political will at the country level as well as technical and advocacy action from CARD. To sustain the momentum, the phase two of CARD is up and running with another target of doubling rice production by 2030, which is bench-marked against the 28 million metric tons  baseline of 2018.

In a more technical discussion, FARA reiterated the need to  step up the contribution of CARD on facilitating actual field-based actions on technology development, production, processing and marketing. This would substantiate the traditional technical support it provides towards policy and advocacy at the country levels. The need to begin the facilitation of intra-regional trade among countries for rice would become a foresight compliant action to ensure steady market and the sustainability of rice production at scale.

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