The Rice Compact’s Technology Toolkit
The Rice Compact is led by AfricaRice and has established partnerships in 16 countries, mostly in West Africa where massive importation of rice occurs. The rice technology toolkits based upon the dissemination of three varietal lines: New Rice for Africa (NERICA), Advanced Rice Varieties for Africa (ARICA) and ORYLUX (aromatic) varieties; with over 68 varieties released to date. These varieties include both wet and upland varieties and biofortified “golden” rice. Also under development is hybrid seed. These lines are promoted through commercial licensing of foundation and certified seed.
Land preparation is facilitated through engineered irrigation surfacing. Fertilizer interventions include climate-smart urea deep placement for greater nitrogen use efficiency and the application of foliar micronutrients where needed. Water management is guided by the “Smart Valley” concept, the development of site-specific irrigation kits, and where required efficient water lifting technologies. Weeding operations are assisted through the use of motorized weeders that cut, uproot and bury weeds between crop rows.
Crop management is further guided by RiceAdvice decision support; an application tool providing farmers with guidelines for specific field conditions via “smart phone”. Separation of the grain from the cut plant is assisted by an Axial Flow Thresher that may either be purchased or manufactured locally. Processing technologies result in “import-quality” polishing, rice flour and its products, and uniform steam (GEM) parboiling. The main goal of this Compact is to greatly reduce the massive imports of rice into Africa.