Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) TanzaniaEmpowering small-scale rice farmers in Tanzania
Rice is the fastest growing food source in Africa. Demand for rice has been growing at a rate of about 4.6% per annum between 2000 and 2010 – faster than anywhere else in the World and by far outstripping the sub-region’s population growth of 2.6%. This trend is predicted to continue for the next 8-10 years mainly due to population increase, urbanization and changes in consumption patterns.
Tanzania is the main rice producer in the East African Community (EAC) region, producing over ¾ of all rice produced in the EAC. Rice is also the second most important food crop in Tanzania after Maize. As in other African countries, rice consumption is rising rapidly, in excess of 25 kg/person/year. The figure is even higher in urban areas. In 2011, consumption of milled rice in Tanzania was 1.3 million MT, based on FAO data, part of which was imported, while small volumes (about 36,000 MT) were exported to neighboring EAC countries. The leading regions in rice production are Shinyanga, Tabora, Mwanza, Mbeya, Rukwa and Morogoro.
Challenges that have been identified as limiting to the rice sector development in Tanzania include: i) inadequate development and availability of improved seeds resistant or tolerant to major biotic and abiotic stresses; ii) deterioration of irrigation and drainage infrastructure iii) inadequate development and availability of improved post-harvest processing technologies and value addition (grading and packaging) processes; iv) low use of labour saving technologies and inadequate technology uptake; v) inadequate access to credit by farmers, traders and processors; vi) poor communication, transportation and marketing infrastructure; and vii) limited participation of private sector in rice value chain due to inadequate financial capabilities and inadequate availability of information on markets.
As a result, rice production and productivity will need significant boost to at least maintain consumption trends. The government has realized the importance of the rice subsector to ensure food security, to save on foreign currency and to foster rural economic growth. Government is promoting import substitution policies for rice and has earmarked rice for rapid expansion and modernization in its Agricultural SectorDevelopment Strategy (ASDP) and the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS).
The goal of the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) is to significantly improve the livelihoods of 120,000 small scale rice rice farmers in Tanzania, Nigeria Ghana and Burkina Faso with the aim of reaching at least 30,000 male and female (at least 30%) smallholder farmers in Tanzania with a daily income below USD 2.
The project aims to work with rice processors and traders as value chain anchors who provide the much needed “pull” to stimulate higher production of rice by smallholder farmers. Secondary beneficiaries are rural service providers, e.g. agro-dealers, suppliers and operators of agricultural machinery
CARI is implemented in Tanzania by Kilimo Trust supporting the actors of the rice value chain, using the millers as anchors to link consumers and service providers in the rice value chain where rice farmer and rice miller meet for mutual benefit as equal agribusiness partners Read More