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Rice Cultivation Techniques for Africa


Egyptian International Center for Agriculture (EICA) , Japan International Cooperation (JICA) Egypt Office, Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa (EFTCA)

Country (ies) and institutions

Egypt, Japan, African countries


The training program on Rice Cultivation Techniques for Africa is designed to provide the participants with knowledge and techniques necessary for increasing yield of irrigated rice fields in their own nations. It also aims at refreshing and upgrading their relevant experiences and practices in this area. EICA has been implementing the training course jointly with JICA and the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa (EFTCA) of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry for more than twenty years.

Background and set-up

Before TCTP was inaugurated, Japan and Egypt had cooperated in the field of Agriculture especially on rice cultivation and processing in early 80's. Japan had supported Rice Mechanization Center, Rice Technology Training Center, and Rice Research Training Center by providing Grand Aids, Technical Cooperation and Japanese experts. These centers contribute to increasing rice production in Egypt and supporting TCTP now. The Third Country Training Program (TCTP) collaboration between Egypt and Japan started in 1985. TCTP was enhanced by the "Egypt – Japan Triangular Technical Cooperation Programme for the Promotion of South-South Cooperation in Africa" signed between the Government of Egypt and the Government of Japan in October, 1998. Since then the Government of Egypt has shared the cost of trainings under the Triangular Technical Cooperation Program. As of 2010 more than two thousands of participants were trained through TCTP for Africa. EICA had been implementing the training program on Rice Cultivation Techniques for Africa between 1987 and 2006 and it was renewed under the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) initiative in 2009. In 1973 EICA was converted from the Ex Afro Asian Training Center established in 1965. EICA authorized to plan, implement and supervise training programs for foreign countries such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and so on. EICA's objective is "to promote human resources development of the technical cadre and assisting staff of the agricultural sector with a mission to improve and upgrade plant and animal productivity in participants' countries". EICA implemented 2 joint courses with JICA and other 10 regular courses funded by the Government of Egypt in 2010 in addition to the joint courses with African Development Bank Arab in Fund for Technical Assistance with African countries and others. The Rice Cultivation Techniques for Africa is designed to provide the participants with knowledge and techniques necessary for increasing yield of irrigated rice fields in their own nations. It also aims at refreshing and upgrading their relevant experiences and practices in this area. Specific objectives of this course are below. - To acquire knowledge and practices in rice cultivation at irrigated fields. - To acquire the ability to identify, diagnose and solve common problems facing irrigated rice farms - To acquire skills of extension works needed to improve their capacity at the field level. - To assesse training needs of Extension Workers in rice cultivation in irrigated farms in respective countries. The duration of the Course is approximately twenty four (24) weeks and the following countries are invited to the course in accordance with CARD initiative: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda.

The partnership

Egypt has a long history of South-South Cooperation since 1950's to developing countries. Now there are two funds for South-South/ Triangular Cooperation under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa (EFTCA), and the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Commonwealth Independent States, Newly Independent States, European Islamic Countries, Afghanistan and Mongolia. EFTCA is providing training courses, experts, and humanitarian assistance for more than 40 African countries in the fields of health, agriculture, water resources and so on. Humanitarian assistance contains delivering medicine, medical equipment, and food in the emergency situation. In planning the Triangular Technical Cooperation Program Japan transfers appropriate technologies and supports the Egypt's South – South Cooperation efforts to the African countries in order to enhance social and economic development in Africa. Details of the partnership include providing joint training courses and dispatching experts. Based on this program, cost-sharing of the training courses started with 5% of total expenses to implement a training course, increased gradually and reached 15% from Egypt in 5 years. This cost-sharing enhanced a sense of partnership and established the strong cooperation between JICA and EFTCA. In Japanese Fiscal Year (JFY) 2010, under the cooperation between JICA and EFTCA, 7 courses for African countries were conducted and 2 of them were implemented by EICA. These courses were Rice Cultivation Techniques and Warm Water Fish Production. More than 100 African participated in the training courses under the Triangular Technical Cooperation Program between Egypt and Japan in JFY 2010. The main measures to organize and implement collaborated training courses of each organization in Egypt and Japan are determined by Record of Discussion (R/D) for each course which is signed before the training course starts. For Rice Cultivation Course, R/D was signed in 2009 and the main measures include below. EFTCA; to forward the General Information brochures (G.I.) to the Government of invited countries through its diplomatic channels, and to receive application forms and forward them to the EICA ; To notify the result of the selection of participants to the respective Government through its diplomatic channels. EICA ; to formulate the curriculum, and to draft and print the General Information; to provide its training facilities and equipment for the Course; to select participants for the Course, to arrange accommodations, air tickets, pick up service from the airport for participants; to submit a course report and a statement of expenditure with the receipts JICA ; to dispatch Japanese short-term expert(s), who will give advice to EICA and deliver some of lecture; to bear the expenses equivalent to 85% of total amount for the Course; to conduct needs assessment prior to the beginning of the course; to observe and monitor the implementation and conduct the terminal evaluation at the end of the term of cooperation.

Lessons learned

EICA has been implementing various training courses on Agriculture for more than thirty years. The number of participants of training courses in EICA exceeds 22,000, which include 8,000 from African countries, and participants are from variety of countries such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Arab countries. About 10 % of 8,000 participants from African countries attended the training courses conducted in collaboration with JICA. EICA has useful lessons through the cooperation with JICA since 1987. At first, many staffs of EICA have continuously implemented training courses for African countries for more than twenty years. Through these experiences collaborated with JICA for long time, EICA's staffs received much information such as each country's environment, social situation and constrains toward rice cultivation. EICA staffs got African countries' needs, too. These information and needs of African countries make it possible to tailor specific contents not only for training courses collaborated with JICA but also for EICA's regular courses which are sponsored by EFTCA and other donors. Secondly JICA and EICA conducted needs survey when there are special needs from invited countries for training courses. In addition, officers and experts of JICA and EICA conducted a survey for revising curriculum to meet Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD), which aims at promoting increasing rice production in African countries. Through these surveys EICA's staffs understood real situation of the African countries. Moreover they learnt how to conduct surveys and how their survey can contribute to current and new training courses. JICA's long term collaboration, which includes technical support and financial support to training courses for African countries, enhances capacity building of EICA's staffs. Their abilities of planning, implementation, assessment, and revision of training courses have been improved and EICA's organizational capacity building has been enhanced.

Complementarity with North-South cooperation

Egypt is like any other developing country facing a lot of challenges in course of its development. Those challenges include among others lack of funds and limited water resources. Under those constraints, Egypt was able to achieve highest national average rice yield in 2005 (9.5ton/ha) up from 5.43ton/ha in 1970 partly because of the introduction of hybrid varieties and application of techniques including seed cleaning, transplanting and water management. Training of farmers and extension officers was the catalyst to bring the researches to life in the fields. Egypt provides a good model and experience that can be replicated in other developing countries under similar circumstances by introducing applicable solutions for the environment and constraints. The model does not seem unrealistic or far to achieve. The proposed solutions are always tackling the problems with existing facilities or at minimum requirements. The solutions suggested in other developed countries usually comprise use of equipment or facilities that is difficult to acquire. The perfect model seems far to reach. It was found from the follow-up and evaluation of ex-participants that they were able to apply the knowledge gained from training in their fields when it does not need capital investment such as lining the field for transplanting. On the other hand, we cannot claim that South-South/ Triangular Cooperation can replace North-South Cooperation. The achievement of rice cultivation in Egypt was possible only with the support of FAO and other developed countries including Japan. Skills and knowledge of the North is important to improve the situation is developing countries and definitely the financial support has equal importance to enhance the technical transfer. North-South Cooperation provides new knowledge and new technology which have potential to drastic improvement in recipient countries. However North-South Cooperation might be difficult to apply in recipient countries because there are huge gaps between recipient and provider countries. South-South/ Triangular Cooperation could provide more applicable knowledge and technology than those of North-South Cooperation. Otherwise South-South/ Triangular Cooperation could deliver slow pace improvement to recipient countries. South-South/ Triangular Cooperation is complement to North-South Cooperation because each cooperation has advantages and disadvantages.

How to share

EICA has wide network with universities, research institute, and public organization in the fields of Agriculture, Economic and Human Resources in Egypt. Through this network EICA receives new information to revise curriculum, contracts lecturers, finds new site for visiting in the courses and so on. Inversely EICA could disseminate information about African countries' situation and needs to other organizations, and share knowledge and skills to implement South-South/ Triangular Cooperation. JICA has been holding workshops with implementing agencies, which provides training courses for African and Middle East countries, at several times in Cairo. Recently the workshop was organized in November, 2010. During the workshops implementing agencies exchange knowledge and discuss common problems they face to explore possible solutions. Sometimes, JICA organize field visits to exchange knowledge anything similar projects in neighboring countries.


Japan 85% and Egypt 15% in total

Name of Primary Contact Person/s

Sachiko Shah

Title of Primary Contact Person/s

Project Formulation Advisor

City and country

Cairo, Egypt

Contact Email/s



Key players

Eng. Mahmoud El-Rafie, EICA Director General, EICA Ms. Hala Shoukry, Chief Project Officer, JICA Egypt Office