Rice is the fastest growing staple commodity in sub-Saharan Africa and is considered one of the main engines for economic growth. However, the domestic production rate of rice has not increased in tandem with consumption rate. Domestic value chains need to be made competitive with foreign ones, this is exactly the aim of the rice component of the SARD-SC project.
The aim of the rice sub-project of the SARD-SC project is to make its domestic value chains to be competitive with the foreign ones in eleven African countries: Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda. Therefore, AfricaRice manages innovations for low- input rice based systems resilient to climate change and water scarcity.
Some of the Project’s objectives are: To develop and introduce adapted mechanization options across the rice value chain; establish and strengthen rice sector development hubs; develop contractual arrangements between value chain actors and strengthen producer associations in terms of access to financial services; and improve marketing strategy for rice and rice related products in the rice development hubs. To ensure the development of good networking, a rice Agronomy task force has been created. This is to enable researchers working on rice agronomy issues from all AfricaRice’s 24 member states collaborate on key agronomic issues in rice based systems. More so, a training session for trainers of farmers on integrated rice management will be organized as part of the project activities.
For human capacity development, ten PhD and MSc scholarships will be awarded to students in order to aid research program in Agronomy, Gender, Value chain analysis, and marketing. The training in rice research will be done through linkage with NARS. Out of the ten scholarships slots, three are expected to be given to women.