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Second CARI-BRIA Exchange Visit to Thailand
22.09.2017

Second CARI-BRIA Exchange Visit to Thailand

Rice is one of the leading food crops in the world, representing not only a vital part of the individual’s nutrition in every-day life, but also a great revenue potential for African as well as Asian economies as a whole. Although great efforts have been made to strengthen African rice production in order to meet domestic demand and increase farmers’ revenues, there is room for improvement in terms of strategic investments in research and development, production and trade infrastructure. CARI has recognized that the Asian know-how in producing, trading and setting policies can be valuable benchmarks for fighting deficiencies in the African rice industry. Known as the world’s top rice exporter, Thailand serves as role model. Therefore, a cross-continental learning exchange was established in 2016, a collaboration between CARI and the Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA). This year’s second exchange visit between BRIA and CARI partners from Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Tanzania took place from 21st – 25th August 2017 across different provinces in Thailand. The main objective of the exchange was to provide participants with insights and thus a better understanding of the Thai rice value chain and its stakeholders. Consequently, participants from four West and East African countries were given guided tours and extensive discussion time at several locations, from which four can especially be highlighted: The first stop of the exchange led to Klang Community Rice Center in Ubon Ratchathani Province, which works together with OLAM in order to improve and convert their production towards the standard of the sustainable rice platform (SRP). The visit of the community based farmers’ association gave the opportunity to discuss about challenges and recommendations concerning rice farming practicing, post-harvest techniques and package as well as the management and organization of the farmers’ group; highly relevant topics for the visitors from Africa. At Raitong Organics Farm Co. Ltd., an organic rice farm in Sisaket Province, discussions centered on topics of organic farming processes (from land preparation up to marketing level), innovative technologies and trials (such as biological weed management), processes of packaging materials and quality control. Even though there might not yet be a large market for organic rice in African countries, the holistic concept of the farm, run as a social business, surely was inspiring and might hold large potentials for the future. The visit at Ubon Ratchathani Rice Research Centre gave insight in the key rice varieties and consumer preferences in Thailand. The participants learnt about challenges related to rice production, plant protection and therewith the importance of the rice research. The Research Centre has more than 1,000 genes in its gens-bank, allowing continuous improvements of seeds and their resistance to pests and diseases, which is crucial for the support of farmers as well as Thailand’s rice brand. Current research areas include rice genetic and variety selection, seed technology, biotechnology, soil fertility and natural resource management, important topics that help addressing upcoming challenges. Thai Jasmine rice is very well known across the world. At the Office of Commodity Standards, at the Ministry of Commerce the group learnt about the Jasmine rice quality standards, classification schemes, quality assurance and certification in accordance with Thai law. Even though the majority of participants work within the private sector, they acknowledged the importance and benefit of government involvement and regulations in respect to commodity standards which not only hold restrictions and additional responsibilities for companies. These support the creation of brands as well as hold additional employment opportunities, an aspect with high importance for the African continent. The experience of this field visit has been extremely rewarding and appreciated by all participants. By learning more about rice cultivation in Thailand and exchanging with different organizations along the Thai rice value chain, ideas and impressions were gained, which left the participants optimistic in being able to improve rice production processes in their home countries. BRIA and CARI are looking forward to continue cooperating and supporting mutual learning and knowledge exchange in the future.

Places Objectives
Klang Community Rice Centre ● organisation and management of farmer group ● Exchanging information on challenges and recommended practices
Office of Commodity Standards, Ministry of Commerce ● Jasmine rice standards, quality assurance and certification ● Function of the organisation and policies ● Other Thai rice standards in development
Olam (Thailand) Ltd. ● Processing, storage, packaging and marketing ● Trends of Thai Rice and African Rice
Raitong Organics Farm Co. Ltd. ● Planning and farm management ● Moving up the value chain ● Marketing and challenges
Rice Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives ● Policies related to rice production, including Sustainable Rice Production ● Rice zoning strategies and support ● History of policy support and implementation
Ruangchai Tractor Co. ● Growing market of agricultural machinery in Thailand ● Financial package
Ubon Ratchathani Rice Research Centre ● Key rice varieties in Thailand, consumer preferences of these varieties, suitable areas for cultivation, seasons ● Function of rice research, achievements and current activities ● Visiting the laboratory
Ying Paiboon Ricemill Co. Ltd. ● Buying mechanisms and rice grading ● Milling and storage for good quality rice


Rice is our Business
06.09.2017

Rice is our Business
CARI's main objective is to increase the competitiveness of small-scale rice producers, millers and other actors in the value-chain and achieve a lasting reduction of poverty in Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Tanzania. But what does the work in these countries entail? How does our work look like? A small film crew visited farmers, partners and other stakeholders of the rice value chain in Kebbi State, Nigeria to be able to answer these questions. The movie "Rice is our Business" is now available online and showcases CARI's work using the example of Nigeria.  

Successful constituting meeting of Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP) in Lagos, Nigeria
11.08.2017

Successful constituting meeting of Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP) in Lagos, Nigeria
The Enabling Environment Component of the Competitive Africa Rice Initiative, implemented by John A. Kufuor Foundation (JAKF) supported a two day meeting of the Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP) in collaboration with Grow Africa. The meeting which was held at Westown Hotels in Nigeria, on the 1st and 2nd of August 2017, enabled participants to share their best practices, discuss tools for advocacy and elect substantive executives after finalizing their constitution. This event was a follow-up to its maiden conference in Ghana on October 6, 2016. ARAP is a sub-regional body with the ultimate objective of promoting the sustainability of quality rice production, marketing and consumption in Africa and has 11 member countries. Member countries who participated at meeting include Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire. After a successful review of the draft constitution, Ghana (Mr. John Kennedy Imoro Amoro) was elected as President, Tanzania (Mr. Julius Wambura) as vice President, Nigeria (Mr. Raufu Adekunle Lawal ) as General Secretary, Burkina Faso (Mr. Bikienga Boukari) and Benin as the Auditor (Mr. Avoce Jules Medehouenos). The representatives of these countries constitute the Executive Steering Committee of platform for the next four years. A one year plan was prepared to foster the growth of the rice sector in partnership with institutions/ organizations like ECOWAS, AU, NEPAD, EAC, John A. Kufuor Foundation and Grow Africa to tackle ARAP’s priority areas. In the next couple of years, the priority of the platform would be to strengthen country value chain associations, harmonization of common tariffs, standards and regulations for the rice industry and sharing of best practices among member country. His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor who is the Chairman of the JAK Foundation and the patron of ARAP hosts the platform temporarily at the Foundation premises in Ghana.

Farmers unveil first rice shops
13.07.2017

Farmers unveil first rice shops
"Nigerian rice farmers under the aegis of the Nigerian Rice Advocacy Platform (NRAP) and the Rice Producers Association of Nigeria (RiPAN) have unveiled the first Nigerian Rice Shop, urging the Federal Government to enforce a total ban on importation of the product. They made the call yesterday in Abuja during the formal unveiling of the special advocacy programme which among others aimed at establishing at least one Nigerian Rice Shop in each local government of the federation and promote local production." Please click on the link to read the full article.  

Akzente magazine meets CARI
30.06.2017

Akzente magazine meets CARI
In January 2017, CARI Nigeria welcomed visitors from GIZ headquarter in Germany. The team of Akzente magazine visited CARI's project area in Kano State - where they were able to get insights into our work and meet with our partners WOFAN and Popular Farm. The article "Golden Rice - Farming in Nigeria", published in the latest issue of Akzente magazine (2/2017), as well as the short movie "More rice, more income" can be found online!

Promotion de la production du riz: Le projet GIZ-CARI a restitué les résultats des essais de validation du RiceAdvice
15.05.2017

Promotion de la production du riz: Le projet GIZ-CARI a restitué les résultats des essais de validation du RiceAdvice
Le projet GIZ-CARI en collaboration avec ProCIV a tenu le vendredi 12 mai 2017 à Bobo-Dioulasso, un atelier de restitution des résultats des essais de validation du RiceAdvice et sa dissémination sur les plaines de Banzon et de Bagré. Ce projet rentre dans le cadre du programme développement de l’agriculture au Burkina Faso et vise à accompagner les agriculteurs afin de leur permettre d’avoir de bons rendements lors des campagnes agricoles. Lefaso.net

Mutual Learning: Regional Learning Event held in Accra, Ghana
01.05.2017

Mutual Learning: Regional Learning Event held in Accra, Ghana
On the 24th and 25th of April 2017, a two days “Regional Learning Event” was held in MENSVIC Grand Hotel in Accra, Ghana. This event brought together several CARI Matching Grant Funds partners (beneficiaries) and implementation stakeholders from the different countries, CARI is operating in. The objectives were to share experiences and to foster mutual learning in the field of ”Access to Finance” and “Contract Farming”. More than 30 participants from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Burkina Faso attended the successful learning event and shared their experiences and success stories on contract farming, trader credits, input and equity financing and other important topics in the field of agricultural finance. It is expected that the regional learning event will support the actors within the rice value chain to improve substantially the access to finance for rice farmers as well as for rice processor, millers and other stakeholders in the rice value chain in West and East Africa. The full documentation on the two sessions Access to Finance and Contract Farming is to be found online.

CARI's participation in the Agrofood Fair 2017 in Lagos, Nigeria
30.03.2017

CARI's participation in the Agrofood Fair 2017 in Lagos, Nigeria
The International Agrofood Fair took place at Landmark Center Victoria Island Lagos from 28th to 30th of March, 2017. The event brought together about 1,958 visitors from all over Nigeria to discuss their business and dialogue with 110 exhibitors from 20 countries. GIZ Nigeria was represented by five projects including CARI. The objectives of this years participation were

  1. to create an opportunity for partners to showcase their products and dialogue with other agri-businesses.
  2. to allow CARI an opportunity to meet and share experiences with colleagues from development organizations, agri-businesses, policy sector, research institutes etc.
  3. to explore potential partnership and collaboration opportunities towards achievement of the CARI goals and objectives.
Present at the fair were representatives of CARI partners such as Ajifa, Danmodi, Labana, KARDA, Klysat, WOFAN, Onyx and NAMDA, who were able to meet and dialogue with visitors from different areas of the agricultural sector. They were also able to promote their products, initiate and establish linkages with potential distributors, marketing channels and stakeholders from different parts of the country. A mini experimental auction was conducted with the aim of assessing consumer preferences and willingness to pay for different rice products of CARI partners. The report showing the result of this auction can be found online soon. With other international development organizations as well as Nigeria-based agri-businesses, CARI was also able to discuss and share experiences, making the Agrofood fair 2017 a successful event for CARI. Author: Philip Obosi, CARI Nigeria

Japan-funded ‘RiceAdvice’ project benefits over 16,000 African farmers
27.03.2017

Japan-funded ‘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), the  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." Please follow the link to read the full article.