Thursday, July 12, 2018

IRRI, FAO team up to develop sustainable rice value chain in Africa

Workshop participant doing a land preparation exercise at an IRRI experiment station.

IRRI, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is equipping the next generation of African agricultural technicians and extension agents with technical strategies and techniques in developing sustainable rice value food chains.

A two-week training workshop gathered 27 participants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote D’ Ivoire, Guinea Conakry,  Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. During the event, global rice experts facilitated interactive lectures and gave participants hands-on experience on the stages of the rice value chain from land preparation to post-harvest processing, seed systems, and agribusiness development.
In order to give the participants a first-hand experience in cooperating with lay users for sustainability, participants had a field visit to Victoria, Laguna. Through the activity, they were able to interact with the local farmers and cooperative members who shared their experiences in farming and marketing their harvest.

Towards the end of the program, participants developed an action plan to be implemented upon return to their home countries. These plans focus on boosting the national rice value chain through activities like encouraging seed production in Sub-Saharan Africa, improving farmer-access to quality rice seed, producing high-quality seeds in Africa, eliminating poor quality milled rice, controlling birds that feed on rice grains in Africa, and increasing rice production through mechanization.

The training workshop was developed and organized by IRRI Education and was conducted from June 25 to July 6 at Los BaƱos, Laguna, Philippines.
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