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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Rice cultivation in Africa

In Africa the rice cultivars used in the experimental and smallholder farming initiatives are imported  and, in some cases, specially adapted commercial cultivars. According to Southern Times, this is to the advantage of the providers of the seeds and makes farmers ever dependent on their supplies and their prices, as it leaves both the smallholder farmers and the rural commercial farmers with little alternative in case the supply chain breaks down. Research and use of traditional varieties have been abandoned in favor of the varieties proposed by the generous foreign donors.
Though to most of the world, rice connotes Asia and the vast agriculture of Far Eastern river deltas, Southern Times raises awareness of the rice cultivation in Africa and lists some of its advantages. As farms that grow substantial stands of African rice are few, the prospects don’t appear positive. If this market develops there, “it seems likely that African rice will survive as a commercial crop”.

Source: Southern Times