Rice is the most important and fundamental food for about half of the world's population and it is also an important staple food and a commodity of strategic significance across much of Africa. Driven by changing food preferences in the urban and rural areas and compounded by high population growth rates and rapid urbanization, rice consumption in Sub- Sahara Africa (SSA) has been growing over the years, doubling the rate of population growth. In addition to that, slow growth in domestic rice production attributed by low yields in Africa, the rice deficit in Africa will reach 17.63 million tons by 2030 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) was launched with the aim of doubling rice production in Africa in ten years by Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) at the margin of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD IV) in May 2008.
Taking into account Egyptian experience on cultivation and education in rice production since 1987 to 2006, JICA in cooperation with Egyptian International Center for Agriculture (EICA) and the government of Egypt implemented the training program on “Rice Cultivation Techniques”. It provided adequate knowledge and technology for rice cultivation using Egyptian expertise with advantages in terms of rice cultivation technique and rice production. Training is based on the programme called “Third Country Training Program(TCTP) based on the agreement ‘Japan-Egypt Triangular Technical Cooperation Program for the promotion of South-South Cooperation in Africa’
Renewed 5 months training has been implemented once a year since 2009 in Egypt and still ongoing. The theoretical lectures were held mainly in Cairo, and practical trainings were held in the experimental field in Kafr el Shaykh. The training is designed for the extension workers in the field.
This training enabled African smallholder farmers to increase rice yields and to close the gap between production and consumption of rice at individual and national levels. Also, the training provided smallholder farmers with the means to achieve food security at the farm level and marketable surplus to generate income from the activity.
233 participants were at the training since 2009 from Angola, Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, Coted'Ivoire, DRC (Zaire), Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.
During the training with many practical sessions, participants are able to have their own field and actually experience from all the stages of rice cultivation (from nursery to post harvest process.)
At the end of the course they:
- Familiarized the participants with the importance of rice cultivation in the economies of the African countries.
- Acquired the skills needed to improve their capacity at the field level.
- Enabled them to identify, diagnose and solve common problems facing rice plantations in Africa.
- Assessed the training needs of extension workers in rice cultivation in irrigated farms in their respective countries.
- Made them acquaint with the modern and adequate technologies in rice cultivation and field operations.
- Created the committed Extension Workers able to identify opportunities available for rice cultivation.
Partners: JICA; Egyptian International Center for Agriculture (EICA); Technical support by Rice Research &Training Center (RRTC); Government of Egypt;
Budget: USD 230,000/Year
Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) Egypt
Satoko Maruyama, Project Formulation Adviser, JICA Egypt Office