Thursday, 18 October 2007

NERICA (New Rice for Africa)


Two international reports which were recently or just released made some comments on the New Rice for Africa (NERICA):

The Least Developed Countries Report 2007:
Knowledge, Technology Learning and Innovation for Development
July 2007, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

The World Bank's World Development Report (WDR) 2008
Agriculture for Development
October 2007, World Bank

Quotations:

The New Rice for Africa (NERICA), a primarily upland rice, could be developed if rice research programmes were strengthened in West Africa and East and Southern Africa. These programmes could develop second-generation upland NERICA, which would be resistant to pests and diseases, as well as lowland NERICA. (UNCTAD : 102)

Recent experience in Sub-Saharan Africa offers more promise. After a late start, improved varieties are finally making an impact on some food staples:
Rice. The New Rice for Africa—combining the high-yielding potential of Asian rice with the resistance of African rice to weeds, pests, diseases, and water stress—was released to farmers in 1996. Increasing yields under low input conditions, it is cultivated on about 200,000 hectares in Africa. Yet adoption is still modest because of insufficient dissemination, training, and extension.
(World Bank : 224)

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