Rice has been grown in Africa for thousands of years. African rice, Oryza glaberrima, does not have as high yields as Asian rice however it is more resistant to disease. At the time of writing, much of the rice grown in Africa is in fact the Asian variety.
The point about growing indigenous crops is that countries throughout the world, not just African nations would be well advised to grow more food at home so that they do not have to rely so heavily upon food imports and the negative impact this has on a country’s balance of payments. Home grown food not only feeds the population from within but it also puts people to work actually growing the crops.
Rice is a staple food throughout countries known as the ‘3rd World’. It provides nutrients as well as calories. While its macro-nutrient profile is primarily made up of carbohydrate, it may surprise you to learn that it is even a good source of protein.
There are all kinds of traditional dishes that involve rice. People from Western countries are now becoming more interested in rice as it is regarded, quite rightly, as a health food. You can learn how easy it is to cook rice is the U.S: http://www.karaterice.com/best-rice-cooker/
Depending upon the quantities of rice produced, it may even be possible for African nations to export their surplus. This would help bring in much needed revenues. Of course, reducing the amount of starvation on the continent should be the primary goal. In Mali – Five million face starvation over the coming months. This is a situation that can be avoided if we focus on the problem.