Grow Africa supports development of regional rice advocacy platform

In collaboration with regional rice organisations, Grow Africa has co-founded the Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP), a multi-country initiative to improve cross border trade in rice across Africa. Grow Africa is actively fostering the development of this platform, with a specific focus on strengthening national rice platforms, ensuring effective private sector participation, and supporting access to technical expertise and finance for the sector.

ARAP was formed in 2016 by four national rice value chain platforms from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Tanzania – all Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) countries – in order to address the advocacy gap in supporting improved regional rice production and cross-border trade in the commodity. The platform recognises the important role that rice plays as a major staple food in the region, and the potential for widespread, positive socioeconomic impact through the development of a strong regional rice value chain.

The primary objectives of ARAP are:

  • To promote cooperation among regional and national rice bodies to ease cross border trade;
  • To strengthen existing national rice value chain platforms, and support their creation where they do not yet exist;
  • To promote research and analysis to inform advocacy efforts to improve cross border trade;
  • To exchange best practice and approaches to strengthening domestic rice sectors.

Grow Africa is also working with ARAP to expand the membership to include other regional rice producing countries, and has recently brokered the formal participation of Côte d’Ivoire in the Platform, represented through the Office National de Développement de la Riziculture (ONDR).

ARAP is in the process of establishing a secretariat in Accra, Ghana, under the auspices of the John A. Kufuor (JAK) Foundation, and finalizing its constitution which will underpin the platform’s continued expansion and provide a framework for its activities.