Dependence on imports is a risky strategy for a country that is increasingly turning to rice as a staple food.
Photo: R. Raman, AfricaRice

03.04.2013

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As food import dependency has grown, many African countries have attempted to boost local agricultural production. With rice production increasing in Senegal, organisations are progressively upgrading rice value chains in order to compete with imports. Yet investors are now grappling with ways to raise demand for their product. How should local rice be marketed to African consumers?

Senegal is one of the most food-import-dependent countries in sub-Saharan Africa, especially when it comes to rice, a main staple of the diet. It is the third largest rice importer in Africa, after Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. In 2011, rice was the greatest agricultural import in the country, about 39 per cent of its total agricultural imports. Around 61 per cent of Senegal’s rice consumption is currently met via imports, which has drawn the government’s attention to local production. In recent years, the Senegalese government and other organisations have poured money into increasing production.

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