Cotonou, Benin
African Union and AfricaRice sign MoU to promote Africa’s rice sector

20 July 2011

African Union and AfricaRice sign MoU to promote Africa’s rice sector

In recognition of the growing importance of rice as a strategic crop for Africa’s food security and poverty reduction, the African Union Commission and the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly promote the rice sector in the continent through research, development, supportive policies and capacity building.

The MoU focuses particularly on the following three areas:

  1. Policy research and analysis;

  2. Promoting production technologies and agricultural innovation systems;

  3. Provision of policy communications and facilitating dialogue to inform and improve the design and implementation of food and agricultural policies in and among the Member States of the African Union.

Hailing this collaboration as a “historic achievement,” Dr. Papa Abdoulaye Seck, AfricaRice Director General remarked, “This will help create the political will to move Africa’s rice sector forward.”

Despite significant increases in domestic rice production in many African countries during 2008 and 2009, the region still imports nearly 40 percent of the rice it consumes, which makes it highly exposed to international market shocks.

“However, Africa can turn around the situation as it possesses a large reservoir of underutilized agricultural land and water resources, and many technological options, developed by AfricaRice and its partners, are already available,” said Dr. Seck, explaining that the collaboration with the African Union would facilitate the required link with policy-makers to transform the rice sector.

The MoU was signed at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by H.E. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, and by Dr. Seck, on behalf of the Center’s 24 Member States.

The signing ceremony was followed by a technical meeting to explore areas of collaboration, including the development of a regional value chain approach and a common market initiative for rice as part of the existing partnership between the African Union Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AU-DREA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to develop regional value chains for strategic agricultural commodities.

Dr Tumusiime considers AfricaRice an important new partner in this multi-institutional platform. She recognized the important role that AfricaRice as a Center of Excellence has played through its development of the NERICA rice varieties and the continued need for the Center to help intensify rice cropping in a sustainable manner, contribute to capacity building across the value chain and develop favorable policy frameworks.

“Today, the African Union Commission gets an opportunity to take one concrete step towards the achievement of a vision that both our institutions share: one of an Africa free from hunger and poverty,” stated Dr. Tumusiime.

Related links

AFRICAN UNION SIGNS MoU WITH AFRICA RICE CENTER TO ENHANCE FOOD SECURITY IN THE CONTINENT

Photos : Scenes from African Union and AfricaRice MoU signing ceremony


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The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for sustainable development with the funders of this work. The funders include developing and industrialized country governments, foundations, and international and regional organizations. The work they support is carried out by 15 members of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers, in close collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector. www.cgiar.org - http://consortium.cgiar.org.
 

 

 






Media contact:
Savitri Mohapatra
+229 6418 1313
s.mohapatra@cgiar.org

 
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AfricaRice is one of the 15 international agricultural research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium. It is also an intergovernmental association of African member countries. The Center was created in 1971 by 11 African countries. Today its membership comprises 25 countries, covering West, Central, East and North African regions, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda.  AfricaRice temporary headquarters is based in Cotonou, Benin; research staff are also based in Senegal, Nigeria, Tanzania and Côte d’Ivoire.  For more information visit: www.AfricaRice.org

CGIAR is a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. It is carried out by the 15 centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in close collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia,and the private sector. www.cgiar.org

 

Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)

 

     

AfricaRice is one of the 15 international agricultural research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium.
 It is also an intergovernmental association of
African member countries.
 

 

Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)
01 B.P. 2031, Cotonou, Benin
Tel +229 6418 1313/6418 1414/6418 1515/6418 1616;
     +229  21 35 01 88
Fax +229 6422 7809; +229 21 35 05 56
Email africarice@cgiar.org

 

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