The Africa Rice Centre (AfricaRice) has launched a new rice project which will increase the annual income of farmers and also boost quality production in Africa by improving harvest and post-harvest technologies.
AfricaRice says the project, which is the first-of-its-kind for sub-Sahara Africa, could significantly increase overall rice production by reducing post-harvest losses.
“The reduction of post-harvest losses of 10% will help increase farmers’ nominal annual income by about $32 million in the eight pilot countries by 2020”, said Dr. Aliou Diagne an economist at AfricaRice according to a press release issued last week from its headquarters in Benin.
Countries benefiting from the 5-year pilot project are Ghana, Cameroon, Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
AfricaRice said the project will also enhance the quality and marketability of locally-produced rice from these countries.
The continent accounts for one-third of global rice imports as the domestic rice production has not been able to keep pace with the increases in demand triggered by population growth and rapid urbanization, the release said.
The project is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
By Ekow Quandzie