Japan Sets Up an International Organization To Bring About Green
Revolution in Africa
After years of allowing the United States to guide
its international relations, Japan has now begun effectively to
get itself out of the rut and is assuming responsibility in a
crisis that affects millions of human lives.
As a beginning, Japan has set its eyes on the food-short African nations, and is
now in the process of setting up an international organization,
with 30 organizations as part of it, to trigger a Green
Revolution like the one seen in Asia in the 1960s. Tokyo noted
that Africa has much room for improved agricultural productivity,
as rice productivity per hectare of land there is only about 40%
that of Asian rice paddies.
The group is expected to begin its efforts in October with
the initial participation of seven organizations, including the
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The group's
headquarters will be in Nairobi. Among other organizations to be
invited to join are the World Bank, the UN Development Program,
and the U.S. government.
In addition, Japan has announced the release 20,000 tonnes
of rice for developing countries in Africa. "Part of the grant
aid will be offered to five countries such as Kenya and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, and under the scheme those
recipient governments will buy Japanese rice of about 20,000
tonnes in total," Foreign Ministry official Shigeru Kondo said.
Other recipients countries include Guinea-Bissau, The Central
African Republic and Burundi.
Tokyo is also considering a request to send 200,000 tonnes
of its stockpiled foreign rice to the Philippines, another nation
where the poor got hit hard by the skyrocketing rise of the rice