There is a need for training programs aimed at increasing the rice production beginning with seed sector as the in rice consumption in Africa have outpaced the continent’s rice production

shanti-agro-banners-15JICA, PhilRice, and IRRI have joined forces to help several African countries develop their respective rice seed sector. The three organizations formalized this partnership during a brief ceremony for the signing of the agreement at the JICA Philippine Office on 18 October. In the agreement, which is part of the Extension for Capacity Development for Rice Food Security in Africa, IRRI is partnering with PhilRice in training the next generation of seed production professionals from member countries of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD). This three-party cooperation among JICA, PhilRice, and IRRI is an important milestone for the IRRI-Japan partnership that dates back to 1960. It is for the first time a direct collaborative program has been attempted among JICA, IRRI and PhilRice to hold the season-long training on rice production techniques for extension agronomists from 23 CARD countries.

The agreement was signed by Corinta Guerta, IRRI director for External Relations, and Dr. Sailila Abdula, PhilRice executive director, in the presence of Susumu Ito, JICA’s chief representative at the Philippine Office. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) hailed the signing ceremony as symbol of a strong partnership that expresses core of its activities. It hoped that by working together with IRRI and PhilRice,   JICA would be able to improve food security for all.

 This is not the first time IRRI and JICA have worked together to train researchers, technicians, and extension workers from Africa. During the first phase of the IRRI-JICA collaboration, they trained 142 participants from various African countries.  Earlier this year, IRRI also conducted two 3-week training programs on quality breeder and foundation seed production that was attended by 34 African researchers and extension professionals. Going forward, in 2017, two 8-week training courses on rice seed production and extension will be conducted by PhilRice for selected participants from CARD countries. The overall extension capacity project started in March and will continue until 2019. “JICA is very pleased that its support to PhilRice during the early years is now bearing fruit through its contributions to sharing knowledge with Africa.”  Said Susumu Ito, JICA’s chief representative at the Philippine Office.