Rice Production: RIFAN, African Countries Seek Collaboration

Rice Production: RIFAN, African Countries Seek CollaborationThe Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says it is seeking collaboration with Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) and other African countries to increase rice production and export within the continent.

CARI is to significantly improve the livelihoods of rice farmers in selected countries in the sub-region by increasing the competitiveness of domestic rice supply. CARI is implemented in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania with the aim of reaching 120,000 African rice producers.

The direct beneficiaries of this project are male and female smallholder rice farmers with a daily income below $2.00.

Secondary beneficiaries are rural service providers and rice millers improving their sourcing capacity of quality supply.

National Treasurer, RIFAN,Malam Sadiq Daware, said in an interview with newsmen in Abuja Sunday, that the association had also finalised talk with Ghana, Burkina Faso and Tanzania.

RIFAN official said that it had become imperative to forge a crucial partnership with the countries to drive the rice value chain.

He said the CARI officials had met with RIFAN to form Nigerian Rice Advocacy platform, where all the actors in the rice value chain would collaborate to increase rice production and export.

“The platform has been established in the 36 states and FCT and the entire representative have elected their leadership.

“The platform recognises the important role rice plays as a major staple food in the region, and the potential for widespread and positive socio-economic impact through the development of a strong regional rice value chain,’’ he said. Daware also said the primary objectives of CARI was to promote cooperation among regional and national rice bodies, ease cross border trade and strengthen existing national rice value chain platforms.

According to him, it is also to support the creation of such platforms, where they do not yet exist.

He said under the CARI agreement, stakeholders would also promote research and analysis and exchange best practices and creating adequate awareness of its activities among farmers.

Daware disclosed that by August, several rice stakeholders across Africa would converge in Abuja to further discuss rice research, development, production and policy.