Improved rice varieties developed by AfricaRice and its partners have lifted 8 million people out of poverty and provided food security to 7.2 million in sub-Saharan African countries, a new study has found. The results from an assessment of 16 countriesi showed that the widespread adoption of new varieties using certified seeds has significantly increased yields, providing more food and greater household income. Around 45% of households growing improved rice varieties were lifted out of food insecurity in the scarcity period.
NERICA (New Rice for Africa) research started in the 1990s and intense dissemination began in 2005. Adoption has more than doubled since the previous surveys in 2008, to 1.4 million hectares of cropland in 2016, increasing rice production by nearly 900 kg of grain per household on average. Yields and efficiency gains (total factor productivity) were in most cases reviewed higher for women farmers than for men farmers. This is probably because women farmers have less access to inputs such as fertilizer, and NERICA seeds do better than many others under these conditions.
Research conducted by RICE.
i A. Arouna et al., “Contribution of Improved Rice Varieties to Poverty Reduction and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Global Food Security, Food Security Governance in Latin America, 14 (September 1, 2017): 54–60, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2017.03.001.
Photo by IRRI.