About Cari

The Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) project was launched in 2013. It is part of the program Agricultural Value Chains for Sustainable Development (A4SD). CARI has just started its second phase and is currently being implemented in four African countries (see interactive map). Rice is one of the most important staple crops in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the past decades, demand for rice in the region has been growing faster than anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, these increases in demand cannot be met by local or regional production. Average yields in Sub-Saharan Africa stagnate and lag far behind those of other rice producing areas. Moreover poor processing and marketing infrastructure, missing access to high quality inputs as well as weak markets disadvantage local production systems. As a result, the income of smallholders is low and most of the population depending on rice production live in poverty. Beyond that, Africa imports more rice than any other region globally. The goal of CARI is to significantly improve the livelihoods of rice farmers (30% female) and to increase the competitiveness of the domestic rice supply to meet the increasing regional demand, which is crucial for regional food security. In order to meet these goals, the project builds on strong partnerships with local public and private stakeholders. After a very successful conclusion of the first phase of the programme, the activities of CARI have been slightly adjusted and focus now on:

  • knowledge management and cooperation among stakeholders of the rice value chain,
  • inclusive business models and productivity,
  • access to finance, and
  • improvement of the policy framework for the rice sector.

Especially the Matching Fund remains an important tool for the implementation of project activities.

CARI at the AGRF 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda – Collaboration and partnership for working towards rice self-sufficiency in Africa


In recent years, Africa and the continent’s economies have shown signs of progress, which has led to improvements of livelihoods of millions of people.


E-Agriculture Pitch – CARI unites local start-ups and the rice sector


In order to find a local Start-up to develop an ICT based solution, CARI hosted a successful E-Agriculture Pitch in Abuja on March 8, 2018.


CARI phase 2


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has commissioned CARI for a second phase.



trained farmers


trained women

yield increase




income increase


job opportunities created


farmers with access
to pre-financed inputs

>5,500,000 €

official development assistance (oda)

>1,650,000 €

public partner funding

>23,950,000 €

private partners funding

cooperation with




Since the project started in 2013, CARI has had a significant impact on the livelihoods of rice smallholders. The holistic promotion of the rice value chain contributes directly to several SDGs.

Following a multi-stakeholder approach, CARI works closely with >40 partners from the private sector, civil societies, research institutes and government institutions, in order to build partnerships for the goals of the agenda 2030 (SDG 17). CARI blends >5,500,000 € official development aid (ODA) with >1,650,000 € public partner contributions and >23,950,000 € private partner funding.

Creating jobs, increasing incomes in production which leads to improved food security, as well as the activation of partner contributions, the programme also contributes to the cornerstones formulated in the “Marshall Plan with Africa”, released by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).