The African continent has been experiencing a consistent increase in the demand for rice. Rice has in the past three decades grown inpopularity to become a major feature in the continental diet. It currently takes first position on the list of fastest growing staple foods.
In the early 1970’s, it was mostly consumed during special events, but ithas gradually replaced yams, sweet potatoes and cassava on the dinner table. This growth has been shown to have a direct link to the growing incomes, rapid urbanization rates as well as population growth in many of the countries.
It is also associated with the change experienced in the occupational structure of the African family. As more women join the workforce, they are capable of buying such convenience foods that require shorter preparation times. At the same time, more men live and work in the urban space away from their families. In these spaces, such foods are also given higher priority than their traditional alternatives.
Only a handful of countries are self-sufficient in meeting rice demand in Africa. Of the total volume consumed annually, about a third is imported mostly from Asian countries. However, there are exceptional performers in rice production on the continent. Also, there have been numerous initiatives to encourage rice cultivation and increase the production capacity.
Taking into consideration also the climate change issues that affect all crop production globally including rice, it is important to develop climate-resilient rice production systems in sub-Sahara Africa to meet the increased demand to the crop.
The course will target participants from Nigeria and other sub-Sahara Africa countries.
ICBA will organize the course in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).
Dr. Rakesh Kumar Singh, Program Leader and Principal Scientist, Crop Diversification and Genetics, ICBA, Dubai, UAE
Dr. Henda Mahmoudi, Plant Physiologist, ICBA, Dubai, UAE
With support from:
Dr. Ahmed H. El-Naggar, Soil Management Scientist, ICBA, Dubai, UAE
Mr. Momoh Godday, Head of Administration, Regional Hub of Abuja (RHA), Country Relations and Services (CRS), IsDB, Abuja, Nigeria
Mr. Ghazi Al-Jabri, Capacity Building Specialist, ICBA, Dubai, UAE
International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), United Arab Emirates
Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia