It is estimated that some 388.8 million people in sub-Saharan Africa or 42.7 per cent of its total populations live on less than $1.90 a day. The region’s population growth rate continues to exceed the growth rate of regional food production, a situation compounded by fluctuating food prices and the insecurity that it engenders in developing countries. Food security therefore remains a major challenge. This situation is only worsened by the high risk of environmental degradation that comes with unsuitable production, irresponsible consumption of land resources and weak national research programmes for the development of appropriate technologies. (http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTEDUCATION/0,,contentMDK:22705274~menuPK:282424~pagePK:6402086 5~piPK:149114~theSitePK:282386,00.html)
Towards a Solution
In May 2008, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) partnered with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to launch the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD). The goal of the initiative is to contribute to food security and economic growth at the household, national and regional levels by doubling rice production in sub-Saharan Africa in ten years from 2008 to 2018 in an environmentally sustainable manner. The initiative aims to harmonize efforts of key stakeholders to develop the rice sector in sub-Saharan African countries, based on Government-identified needs in their national rice development strategies. To date, the Coalition has assisted the Governments of 23 sub-Saharan African countries in formulating their national rice development strategies and needs assessments. Each country’s needs are then matched with the comparative advantages of different development partners, both public and private.
The member organizations of the Coalition Steering Committee contribute to the initiative with their respective strengths:
Research and technical institutions contribute to the Coalition’s activities in the development of the rice sector at both the regional and national levels with their knowledge and technical assets.
Financial Institutions provide technical contributions to ensure the quality of the Coalitions activities, particularly its socioeconomic and policy aspects. Their financial resources are used to implement rice projects in some Coalition countries. In addition, IFAD financially supports the operation of the initiative.
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa helps the Coalition to reflect the private sector’s views in its activities and to strengthen its partnership with private-sector players in the rice business in Africa. It also hosts the Coalition secretariat at its head office and provides administrative support.
JICA provides its experience in project implementation, especially in rice development in Africa, and financial resources to implement rice projects in some Coalition countries. It also provides financial and human resource support to the Coalition secretariat.
NEPAD ensures the alignment of the Coalition’s activities with the overarching development framework at both the regional and national levels and provides political guidance.
Partner countries share knowledge and experience in rice-sector development through South-South cooperation activities such as capacity-building (study tours, training, remote learning programmes). Concrete examples of good practices in South-South cooperation include:
- setting up a mechanization platform in order to exchange knowledge and ideas on mechanization. A group of platform participants (including government officials, researchers, farmers and the private sector) organized a study tour to Thailand and Viet Nam to learn how to establish a mechanization chain in African countries;
- organizing a remote learning programme that targets government officials and farmers from African countries. Resource persons from Asian countries, including the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, gave lectures, with technical backstopping by the International Rice Research Institute and AfricaRice. This remote learning programme will be adopted and scaled up by the World Bank under its West African Agricultural Productivity Programme; and
- creating a capacity development programme for African human resource development in the rice sector. This training has been conducted in partnership with the Government of the Philippines and the Philippine Rice Research Institute.
Since the Coalition’s beginnings in 2008, rice production in sub-Saharan Africa has increased by 59 per cent according to 2013 FAO data, indicating that Africa is close to reaching the Coalitions goal of doubling rice production by 2018. More than 100 Coalition projects are currently being implemented in more than 15 countries, and stocktaking of Coalition projects is ongoing. The initiative has had significant impact on increasing rice production and household incomes and has contributed to job creation, social inclusion, income- generation, infrastructure development, education, the growth of cooperative networks, environmental protection and the overall health of populations.
The initiative capitalizes on existing human, material and financial resources, consisting mainly of government, development partners and the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme, rather than creating a new modality of resource mobilization.
National governments, in most cases the ministries of agriculture, are the main actors of the initiative at the country level. Farmers, rice producers, the private sector, local government and other stakeholders are the beneficiaries. Governments learn and incorporate farmers’ views into the formulation and implementation of the strategy.
Contact: Mr. Takanori Satoyama, General Coordinator of the CARD secretariat, TSatoyama@agra.org; Mr. Yuichi Kumagai, Technical Coordinator of the CARD secretariat, YKumagai@agra.org
Project name: Coalition for African Rice Development
Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia
Sustainable Development Goal targets: 2.3, 2.4, 8.4
Supported by: AGRA, AfricaRice, the African Development Bank, FAO, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, IFAD, the International Rice Research Institute, JICA, the Japan International Research Centre for Agricultural Sciences, NEPAD, the World Bank
Implementing entities: AGRA, NEPAD, JICA
Project status: Ongoing
Project period: 2008 to 2018
URL of the practice: http://riceforafrica.net