‘RiceAdvice’ project benefits over 16,000 African farmers
Thanks to a 1-year
project supported by the Government of Japan, 200 trained
service providers have helped more than 16,000 rice farmers in
Mali and Nigeria benefit from ‘RiceAdvice’, a customized crop
management decision support tool, leading to increased
productivity, efficiency and profits.
Developed by the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice),
RiceAdvice app, which can be freely downloaded through
Google Play on Android smartphone or tablet device,
generates tailor-made recommendations that help farmers in
irrigated and relatively favorable rainfed lowland areas in
Africa apply mineral fertilizer more efficiently in order to
optimize production and profits and reduce waste.
Farmers’ efficient use of mineral fertilizer coupled with good
agricultural practices is one of the keys to enhancing rice
production in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average yield is
around 2.1 t/ha. AfricaRice studies have shown that the adoption
of RiceAdvice recommendations can increase rice yield by 0.6 to
1.8 t/ha in farmers’ fields.
According to Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale
African Rice Initiative (CARI),
which is one of the important project partners in Nigeria, a
specific innovative element of RiceAdvice is that it is not only
based on the agronomic conditions, but also on the financial
capacity of the farmer.
CARI is helping deploy the RiceAdvice technology to over 9000
farmers in Nigeria through 97 trained service providers.
“Farmers are happy with the significant improvement in yield and
income that RiceAdvice has brought to them and are eager to
continue with the service.”
Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, another key
project partner, recounted a similar success story from
Kouroumari area in Office du Niger, Mali, where 99% of the 600
farmers, who benefited from RiceAdvice, wish to reuse the
service in 2017 and 44% of them are ready to pay between 250 F
CFA (about 50 cents) and 10,000 F CFA (about US$16) for
These were some of the highlights that were presented at the
project closing meeting held at AfricaRice-Cotonou research
station on 22 February 2017. The meeting was organized to review
progress and achievements, share experiences, and develop a
follow-up plan after the project ends in March 2017.
About 20 participants representing the Japanese Embassy in
Benin, GIZ-CARI, Institut d’economie rurale (IER), Syngenta
Foundation, National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI),
Ahmadu Bello University and AfricaRice attended the meeting.
“We are pleased that nearly all the project targets have been
achieved or even surpassed in some cases,” said Dr
Kazuki Saito, AfricaRice agronomist and project coordinator.
The project’s aim was to boost rice productivity, maximize rice
farmers’ investment potential and catalyze youth employment,
contributing to food security and social stability in the two
Thanking the Government of Japan and the various partners for
their strong support, Dr Saito reported on the progress made in
the use of media tools for promoting RiceAdvice, which includes
the production of a
promotional video, the creation of a
Facebook Page and the development of a dedicated
The participants discussed opportunities and constraints for
outscaling and upscaling RiceAdvice in a sustainable manner. The
issues covered related to the need for appropriate business
models, coordination mechanisms and identification of new
AfricaRice and its partners are analyzing the data from the
project and are making follow-up field visits to assess the
initial impact and identify mechanisms for the effective rollout
of RiceAdvice in sub-Saharan Africa after the closure of the
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AfricaRice is a CGIAR Research Center –
part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future. It is
also an intergovernmental association of African member countries.
The Center was created in 1971 by 11 African countries. Today its
membership comprises 27 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, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau,
Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of
Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda.
AfricaRice headquarters is based in Côte d’Ivoire. Staff are located in
Côte d’Ivoire and also in AfricaRice Research Stations in Benin,
Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Senegal. For more information
CGIAR is a global research partnership for a
food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty,
enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources
and ecosystem services. Its research is carried out by 15 CGIAR Centers
in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and
regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia,
development organizations and the private sector.