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By Dulue Mbachu

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Africa’s rice production grew 18 percent in 2008 and the continent may become a net exporter of the grain if more land is brought under cultivation, according to the Africa Rice Center.

The sharp increase in output is the result of support provided by African governments to rice farmers in the wake of the global food crisis over the past two years, the Cotonou, Benin-based center said in an e-mailed statement today. No output figures were given in the statement.

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