Grow Africa and the Office National pour le Développement du Riz en Côte d’Ivoire (ONDR) launched the first inclusive national rice value chain platform on 13 July in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Rice is identified as a strategic and priority commodity by the Ivorian government as reflected in its national agricultural investment plan. The platform, called RICE CIV comprises representatives from the government, agricultural and food research institutions, private sector, farmers’ organisations, civil society, youth organisations and industrial end-users.
The platform will be sharing critical market information, and developing coalitions and strategies on how to resolve supply constraints and organise smallholder inclusion in the supply chains. Rice CIV will also stimulate investment opportunities in the sector.
The launch was attended by more than 60 people, including representatives of the agriculture ministry, small holder farmers, private sector companies, research institutions, international organisations, youth organisations and the donor community.
The launch highlighted the opportunity represented by strengthening the domestic rice sector for job creation, improvement of smallholder incomes, food security, and reduced import dependency.
The meeting was opened by Mr Apporture Kouame Kouakou, Chief of Staff of the Ivorian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, who thanked the NEPAD Agency for its support to the rice value chain in Côte d’Ivoire, and reassured the audience of the commitment of the highest authorities to the success of the first ever rice inclusive platform in Cote d’Ivoire.
In his remarks on behalf of the NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Hamady Diop, Head of Natural Resources Governance and Food Security stated that, “Rice, being identified as a strategic commodity by the African Union, has to be promoted and protected as a staple contributing to food and nutrition security in Africa.”
“The platform should be seen as an instrument that will support the ongoing implementation of the national strategy 2016-2020 for rice development in Cote d’Ivoire,” said Mr Yacouba Dembele, Director General of ONDR.
To operationalise the rice platform, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between Grow Africa and ONDR.
This will further be followed by:
- The setting up of a secretariat of the platform to be hosted by ONDR
- The Development of a charter to guide stakeholders on how to access/join the platform
- The development of a work plan 2017-2020.
Organisations working in the rice sector in Côte d’Ivoire are welcome to contact Grow Africa to explore opportunities for collaboration or involvement in Grow Africa’s rice sector work.