Achievement of CARD and its Future

JIRCAS International Symposium Proceedings
Full text

Since launching in May 2008, CARD (Coalition for African Rice Development) initiative has made some
tangible progress by offering a platform for collective actions among African rice producing countries
(currently 23 countries in total) and like-minded development partners (currently core members are: AGRA,
Gates Foundation and other organizations are in regular communication). This presentation will cover a brief
back ground of the initiative, ongoing activities by participating partners and challenges ahead.
1. Background of CARD
In the past decades demand for rice in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has continued to rise steadily and
particularly since late 90s the volume of imports which fill the gap between consumption and local produce
increased sharply throughout the region. The fluctuations in global grain prices in 2007/08 and again early
2011 have aggravated the situation and made the poor more vulnerable to the risks of food insecurity. Since
rice is considered a unique major cereal with high potential within the region for increased production,
gathering international support for this crop is clearly important not only to the improvement of food security,
but also to rural development and poverty alleviation in the region.
Based on this understanding, JICA, in partnership with AGRA, launched an initiative now known as the
“Coalition for African Rice Development” (CARD) on the occasion of the Fourth Tokyo International
Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) held in Yokohama, Japan in May 2008. The campaign was
soon responded by various research institutions including JIRCAS, financial institutions and leaders of
African development.
2. Nature of platform
CARD forms a platform for a consultative group of donors, research institutions and other relevant
organizations to work with rice producing African countries. Partners collectively set a simple but a
challenging goal of CARD to double the aggregated rice production in SSA from the 14 million tons/year in
mid 2000s to 28 million tons/year by 2018. However, most important nature of the platform is to work
together to enable each of national systems to plan and implement realistic work program by themselves.
Partners firmly believe that the exercise will be benefitting to any other part of the agricultural sector because
the capacity built for sound rice development will also work for revitalizing agricultural sector. This is a
platform to make rice development an entry point for revitalization of the sector and of the rural economy in
such countries where rice has a substantial weight in its economy and society.
3. Potential and Approach for Increase of Rice Production
CARD initiative could be implemented in a combination of following approaches.
i) Approach by Agro-Ecology :“irrigated field”, “rain-fed lowland” and “rain-fed upland”.
ii) Value Chain Approach : develop a rice value-chain, including post-harvest processing, marketing and
iii) Capacity Development : support training for researchers, extension officers and key farmers,
agribusiness and administrators engaged in rice industry.
iv) South-South Cooperation: mobilize the know-how in other regions.4. Framework of CARD
(1) Countries for CARD activities and National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS)
Based on the statistical data on importance of rice segment in its economy and society, 23 rice producing
countries were chosen as countries of collective activities in CARD initiatives (subject to confirmation of their
willingness to work with partners).
These countries were requested to prepare a NRDS, wholly owned by the government, drawing on the support
of the CARD secretariat as necessary. CARD Supporting Partners will then assess how they can support each
candidate country’s NRDS in order to maximize its chance of success.
Practically, this is a process of learning among Ministries, Agencies and Departments and other stakeholders
in the country often no communication among them. This is also a capacity building exercises for collecting
data and overlaying with other information for further analyzing and finally for facts based planning. NRDS
documents are living documents and going to be revised time to time to improve the quality.
Based on the NRDS, task teams are expected to work with planning and budget section in the ministry and
beyond, to make essences of NRDS are well integrated into the superior policy settings, such as sector wide or
cross sectorial development strategies, such as CAADP country investment plan or PRSP. About 12
countries are now in this stage of exercises.
(2) Transparency, Relative advantage and synergy effects
Each of participating partners recognized shared understanding. None of us can cope with extensive and
complicated challenge of rice development alone. As the first step partners committed sharing information on
planning and implementation of rice-related programs well in advance. This is a base of exercises to look for
any opportunities of synergy effects of each of partners with its relative advantages in function and
To date, there are several new collaborative works are in designing or planning stage. It also works as a
collective work for advocating increasing investment in both public/conventional aid and private investment.
Various new partners in Asia, Latin America and also in Africa continent are identified and they are more
active ever in SSA to work together with African counterparts and other partners.
5. Challenges ahead
We observe collectively that many of participating countries have achieved increase of production of rice in
the last a few years. However, the challenge of the initiative has just started with a long list of agenda to be
attended including competitiveness in the market and quality control. In coming months, members are
committed to work together to materialize competitive rice sector which will support the living of the millions
of rural families and will also contribute to the national food security.

Date of issued
Creator Hiroyuki Kubota

sub-Sahara Africa

food security

rice development


aid coordination

Publisher Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences
Available Online
Issue 2011
spage 97
epage 100
Rights Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences
Language eng

Related Publication