Luncheon meeting for the promotion of NERICA rice and Japan’s development assistance for agriculture sector in Zambia
On 16th August 2013, the Embassy of Japan hosted a luncheon meeting to introduce and promote NERICA* rice as well as to highlight Japan’s development assistance in the agriculture sector in Zambia. Officials and other stakeholders who attended the meeting included: Hon. Greyford Monde, MP, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Siazongo D. Syakalenge, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Ben Zulu, Managing Director, ZAMSEED, Mr. Hiren Prabhakar, General Manager, Intercontinental Hotel and other executives from private companies and agriculture organizations. Also in attendance were several media representatives.
At the commencement of the event, H. E. Mr. Akio Egawa, the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Zambia gave a briefing on Japan’s development assistance in agriculture in Zambia and the benefits of NERICA. He further said that the Government of Japan attaches priority to agriculture in its country assistance policy for the Republic of Zambia, and implements crop diversification projects as well as expansion of irrigation farming. The Ambassador also expressed that the Government of Japan proactively supports rice production improvement in Zambia, including NERICA, in line with the policy target of the Government of Japan to “Double rice production in Sub-Sahara Africa to 28million tons by 2018”. It was a joyous occasion as guests took part in the food tasting, prepared with the NERICA rice.
The Government of Japan has consistently extended various development assistances to Zambia’s agricultural sector. The Food Crop Diversification Support Project Focusing on Rice Production (FODIS-R) of JICA was started in June 2012, taking account of Zambia’s abundant supply of water resources and vast land suitable for production of rice. FODIS-R is aimed at improving productivity of Zambian native rice as well as promoting NERICA. It is hoped that NERICA Rice will play a significant role in championing crop diversification in Zambia in efforts to attain robust agriculture that will bring about accelerated economic development of Zambia.
*(Note) NERICA stands for New Rice for Africa. It was developed in 1994 by crossing of the two varieties of rice, the African rice and the Asian rice, to produce progeny that combines the superior qualities of both parents.
To read the speech by Ambassador Egawa, please click here.
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