grant provided by Bill and Melinda Gates (BMGF) and the German Development Cooperation (BMZ), under their
The initiative focuses on intervention areas to achieve the following objectives:
- Improved productivity and quality of paddy rice based on sustainable and competitive rice production systems;
- Increased sourcing capacity through structured producer-processor-linkages as well as improved storage capacity and processing efficiency;
- Improved access to and adapted financial services for all value chain actors;
- Shaping and strengthening the enabling environment at national and regional level including policy framework and market linkages between producers, processors and traders.
Speaking on the establishment of the Nigeria/ECOWAS Rice Sector Policy and Regulation Advocacy Platform in Abuja, CARI’s project coordinator, Mr. Stefan Kachelriess-Matthess, said: “The projects are implemented at two levels of support, we support up to 40 percent of implementation cost and our Nigerian partners in the private sector have to provide 60 per cent of the implementation cost.”
ECOWAS Commissioner of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Dr. Lapodini Marc Atouga, represented by a Director at the Commission, also spoke at the event, saying that rice consumption in the last two years in the sub-region had increased from 7 to 7.7 million tons.
“I will like to commend GIZ/CARI for this timely initiative. The need to have a permanent and functional platform to promote rice development cannot be overemphasized. With the current interventions on rice in the West Africa region we must all endeavor to build sustainable rice value chains with access to finance, technology and knowledge to move the region from a rice deficit to a rice surplus one,” he said.
The project, which will end in 2017 is targeting about 120,000 small scale rice producers, while secondary beneficiaries are the rural service providers and rice millers. The initiative is geared towards improving their sourcing capacity of quality supply.
Grow Africa is a partnership platform that exists to help catalyse sustainable investment and growth in African agriculture. Grow Africa was founded by the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency and the World Economic Forum.