Sunday, 31 August 2008

African Japanese Plenary Workshop on Sustainable Rice Production

Africa has to import more than 45 percent of its rice needs for consumption at a cost of more than $1 billion a year to satisfy local demand. With rice prices expected to double in the next couple years due to shrinking rice reserves, increasing African rice production is essential.

The Center for Special Studies and Programs (CSSP), Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in cooperation with the Ministry of High Education, organized 23 - 24 August a workshop entitled “African Japanese Workshop on Sustainable Rice Production” with the aim to :
  1. Enhancing sustainable rice production in the continent
  2. Preserving Ecosystem
  3. Intra and inter-continental collaboration
  4. Enhancing socioeconomic impact of rice and in particular enhancing the role of women in Africa.
  5. Identifying problems facing African rice growers and suggesting suitable solutions.
  6. Developing links between all African rice researchers and promoting young rice researchers’ talents and acting as a forum to discuss all problems facing rice production in Africa.

Japan is convinced that the development and dissemination of NERICA will strengthen rice production in West Africa, thereby contributing to food security and poverty reduction as well as to saving foreign currency that is otherwise used for importing rice.

Egypt achieved a mega shift in rice production in the last decade through releasing of a series of new japonica rice cultivars with short duration as well as the production and commercialization of hybrid rice varieties. Egypt also had a bright record in international training and disseminating knowledge for African rice specialists through JICA-funded 5 month training course on rice cultivation technology. More than 300 African rice specialists have been trained in the last decade.