African countries spent an estimated US$3.6billion, about N570.6 billion on imports alone in the year 2008 and the global rice stocks are at their lowest level since the 1980s, according to AfricaRice Centre.
This, the centre said followed the world food crisis of 2008, which effect saw to the agricultural investments in Africa and food price also skyrocketed in 2009 and still on the increase.
AfricaRice Center, a leading pan-African research organization with the mission to alleviate poverty and food security, made this disclosure in it’s report of 2008 recently made available to NaijaAgroNet.
It also showed that based on this and to up the rice research agenda in Africa, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) established a joint office in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
During the year under review, the training, information management and extension linkages (RiceTIME Unit) was also created to lead AfricaRice's contribution to the Emergency Rice Initiative and to rice information management and capacity building.
Director General of AfricaRice, Dr. Papa A Seck, said that African nations’ rice economies will increasingly become exposed to unpredictable external supply and price shocks, and that the rise in the prices of cereals with the low level of global reserves could unleash the widespread food riots in the continent.