October 19, 2010
On October 19, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)  to strengthen ties. The signing took place at JICA's headquarters in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, between JICA Senior Vice-president Kenzo Oshima and IFAD Vice-President Yukiko Omura.
IFAD is a member of the Steering Committee for the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) , an initiative whose launch was led by JICA, and has worked cooperatively with JICA on activities such as co-chairing CARD's third general meeting, held in May. IFAD has also provided financial assistance for studies and other activities to promote Asia-Africa cooperation on rice production under the CARD initiative.
This Memorandum of Understanding was concluded with the purpose of aiming for a more active partnership in the theme such as "Rice-related research, investments, market linkages and value chains development," "Engagement in country-led processes, including policy dialogue, capacity building and institutional development," and "promotion of South-South cooperation" focusing on the CARD initiative.
The conclusion of this Memorandum of Understanding is expected to result in a closer relationship for promoting rice development in Africa from a mid- to long-term perspective, including coordination between JICA technical cooperation project and IFAD financial assistance.