The rice conference, an annual event for building rice promoters’ capacities in Africa is set to begin tomorrow in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Nigeria.
The 8th International Conference on Rice for Food Market and Development which holds between September 22 and 23 is being hosted by the ‘rice-Africa is a Not-For- Profit Initiative’ based in Nigeria.
A statement by Dr. Dora Agbonika from rice-Africa public relations unit said as the world struggles to feed itself, leading African rice value chain facilitator, Nigeria, will host the largest conference of world’s rice experts in 2021. Apart from oil, rice is the world’s most complex commodity, influencing global politics, national governments, large tracts of land, a large proportion of the population, the climate and the environment.
“That simple bowl or serving of rice that billions of us across the globe consume each day is the result of one of the world’s most complex issues, involving everything from the latest science to the humble buffalo,” said Dr. To Phuc Tuong, of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Vietman. Hosted by Leap Domiciliares Ltd, Nigeria and organized by rice-Africa, one of the region’s leading meetings industry professionals, rice-Africa Conference2021 is expected to record a huge success, with thousands of delegates from all over the world, especially Africa, Asia, and South Asia.
“The world food shortage, which threatens more than 100 million people, coupled with the international economic crisis, places an enormous pressure on rice producing countries and the entire chain from paddy to plate for this most complex of commodities,” Dr. Tuong said.
Prof. Edwin Idu of the faculty of agriculture, University of Abuja said processing technology was one of the most important focuses for the rice-Africa Conference2021, because without innovative ways of processing rice and thereby ensuring food security it would be impossible to cope with the projected growth in demand for rice in the immediate future.
“Arguably the strongest defense against future shortages is for rice processors to enhance their technological platforms and fully exploit the very compelling advances in the spheres of technology development and transfer, quality development and quality assurance, grades and standards, agricultural mechanization for rice-based capacity building. These will be fully addressed during rice-Africa Conference 2021.
“By bringing together the most advanced thinking in the future of the rice industry, rice-Africa Conference2021 is geared towards finding sustainable solutions to the developing world food crisis. Shared knowledge and the bridging of political divides will be the ultimate weapons against the looming shortages,” it added.