January 22, 2016
The Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in 2008 saw the announcement of an initiative, the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD), aimed at doubling Africa's rice production in ten years. And now a book published by Springer, "In Pursuit of an African Green Revolution: Views from Rice and Maize Farmers' Fields," describes the impact of this initiative.
The editors of the book are Keijiro Otsuka, a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) and the lead researcher of the JICA Research Institute research project "the empirical analysis on expanding rice production in Sub-Saharan Africa" and Donald F. Larson, a senior economist at the World Bank. Larson has conducted research on maize cultivation for many years.
The book concerns a Green Revolution for Africa. It states that a Green Revolution for rice is possible through the transfer of technology such as improving varieties and fertilizer, as well as by the application of cultivation techniques, which also triggered a Green Revolution in Asia. It also stresses the importance of acquiring cultivation techniques through training.
In the book's Foreword, JICA-RI Director Ichiro Tambo says, "The future of Africa's growth relies greatly on the performance of the agricultural sector ... Agricultural development has been essential for poverty reduction and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa, and one of the major cereal crops that has great potential for achieving these goals is rice."