Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Enhanced Africa Rice Development Initiative

A high – profile delegation from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) visited FARA on 7th May to discuss the role of FARA in an initiative to enhance rice production in Africa. This initiative will be launched during the TICAD 4 meeting in Japan end of the month of May. The delegation comprised: Kenzo Oshima (Sr. Vice President), Yoshitaka Sumi (Group Leader Africa Group Rural Development Department), Kunihiro Yamuchi (Resident Representative), Masato Kumagai (Deputy resident representative), Akito Tatsuka (Project advisor – Agriculture and rural development).

This initiative with an overall strategy and a framework for action, is jointly proposed by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The initiative aims to respond to the increasing importance of rice production in Africa and to provide the international framework to assist self-effort of African countries to increase rice production, building on the existing policies and programs, such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and the Africa Rice Initiative (ARI).
"With world food prices soaring and global shortages increasing JICA has unveiled a project to double rice production in Africa within a decade. A symposium entitled Toward a Green Revolution in Africa will be held May 29 (15:00-18:00) at the Pacifico complex in Yokohoma, the headquarters of the forthcoming fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV). The symposium will include a panel discussion entitled "Toward a Green Revolution in Africa" and key speeches by JICA and leading African officials including Dr. M. Jones, the so-called father of a newly developed rice strain for the continent called Nerica."