A presentation on ‘Investment in rice production and expected time frames of impact’ was made by AfricaRice at the Fourth Africa Rice Outlook, 25–27 July in Durban, South Africa. The Africa Rice Outlook seeks to bring together the market’s biggest rice buyers, sellers and traders. The objectives of the Fourth Africa Rice Outlook were to:
- Examine Africa’s rising consumption trends and demand requirements
- Assess African rice production and its impact on global trade
- Identify new rice import markets in Southern, East and West Africa
- Manage volatility by examining the impact of freight rates on the price of rice
- Capitalize on the growing demand for NERICA varieties
- Review grain-market interlinkages and the impact on Africa’s rice industry.
AfricaRice recommendations relating to some of these issues include:
- Emphasis on a value-chain approach
- Establish seed legislation to encourage involvement of the private sector in seed supply and trade
- Reduce tax on importation of small-scale farm and processing equipment to increase labor efficiency and grain quality
- Reduce fertilizer prices (fertilizers sold in Africa are at least double the price they sell for in Asia and Europe, and sometimes up to six times the price)
- Improve research and extension capacity in processing and marketing
- Increase the share of the irrigated and rainfed lowland agro-ecosystems in African rice production and scale up the use of high-yielding varieties (e.g. NERICA varieties).