CARI improves earnings of rice farmers in sub–saharan Africa

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Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) programme says it has doubled income for rice farmers in Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Tanzania from two to four dollars per person a day.

Dr Andrew Efisue, the Country Operations Manager of CARI, made this known while reviewing the accomplishments and experiences so far with different stakeholders in Abuja .

Efisue said that after a productive and successful collaboration with partners since the launch of the CARI Phase I in 2013, “we gather that the programme has achieved and even exceeded the objectives agreed upon by donor partners.

“The main objective of CARI is to increase income and nutrition situation of resource poor male and female rice producers and their families in these four countries, which is sustainably improved.

“It has really doubled farmers’ income from two to four dollars per person per day.

“Increase the income of more than 120,000 rice farmers from less than two dollars per person per day to twice the current income,’’ he said.

Efisue said that CARI offered unique services across the entire rice sector such as input providers, primary producer, millers, traders/retailers, final consumers.

“We provide advisory and operational services (including training in land preparation, parboiling, toll milling, business planning) and improved access to financial services.’’

He said that100, 000 farmers integrated in value chains through contracts with off-takers and 120,000 farmers trained in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) under CARI programme.

“CARI also trained 104,000 farmers in business skills, up to 140 per cent increase in yields and 780,500 farmers received pre-financed inputs.

“Additionally, CARI ranks successful or very successful on all five of the DAC Criteria, which include relevance, effectiveness, impact, efficiency and sustainability.

“On the basis of the very good results regarding the achievement of objectives 1 and 2 and the potential for improvement toward objectives 3 and 4, the evaluation mission recommended to plan another phase for CARI.’’

Efisue said in December 2017, CARI Phase II had been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) which would start by July 1, 2018.

Dr Fahma Aliyu, the Desk Officer, Rice Value Chain in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that CARI had done a lot of work in rice value chain.

Aliyu said that CARI had developed rice farmers with capacity building, promoting good agricultural technology which had increased farmers’ yield per hectare and had given them a stable income.

“There have been practices such as good agronomy services from land preparation up to harvesting and post harvest operation.

“CARI has done a lot in the area of water management, use of certified seed, agro processing aspect because they taught our rural women on parboiling new technique across the state.

“We find out those women, who are using the technology, their income has increased by 30 per cent which we have seen it and verified it.’’

Aliyu said CARI had also done a lot in market access for farmers because it linked them up with the rice millers, promoted contract farming as a result of that millers that are working with them are assured of year-round good quality paddy for processing.

“We are happy with CARI and advocacy platform under CARI, they mobilise the farmers into strong groups for advocacy to make farmers united and have a voice to advance their crops.

“As Phase II is starting July this year, I urge the programme to improve more on facilitating access to finance, focus more on farmers’ business school so that farmers will see themselves as business persons.

“With the starting of CARI II, things will be better and there will be more collaboration with the ministry.

The desk officer, however, said that ministry was always willing to partner with anybody to advance farmers within the limit of its objectives as far as it fell within the agricultural promotional policy and policy of government

 

Arinze A