Monday, 15 June 2009

Africa’s Rice Production to Double

June 3-4, 2009 Tokyo. AGRA and JICA entered into a long-term pact that builds on the strengths of each organization to reach their ambitious goal.

The pact was formalized at the second General Meeting of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD). Mr. Kofi Annan, Chair of the AGRA Board of Directors, attended the signing ceremony, along with Madam Sadako Ogata, President of JICA. Dr. Namanga Ngongi, Agra’s President, and Mr. Kenzo Oshima, Senior Vice President of JICA signed the agreement on behalf of their organizations.

CARD is a consultative group of major donors, rice research organizations and a number of other development entities, which together are working with 21 African countries to strengthen their ability to produce this valuable commodity. Current CARD members include AGRA, FAO, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), JICA, the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), NEPAD and the Africa Rice Center (WARDA). The main target of the CARD initiative is reflected in the Yokohama Action Plan, which was one of the main documents adopted at the recent TICAD IV (The Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development) held in Yokohama, May 2008.

Since its inception one year ago, CARD has focused on supporting the efforts of 12 countries to develop more effective National Rice Development Strategies. This “first wave” of African rice producing nations includes Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.

With the support of the CARD Secretariat, which is hosted by AGRA, all 12 counties have produced the first versions of their strategies. During the CARD meeting, Coalition members will discuss how to best support the national plans while refining them through policy dialogues. In the coming year, CARD will work on similar strategies with the “second wave” of rice-producing countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, The Gambia and Togo).

African Excutive 10/06 Africa’s Rice Production to Double