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Rice production in Africa focus on Senegal

Rice, with a world production of around 500 Mt, is one of the four major world crops along with soybeans, wheat and corn.

Since then, rice has established itself as a staple food on the African continent, particularly in West Africa (Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea) with an annual production of 10 Mt.

The objective for these countries is food self-sufficiency, in order to reduce imports and no longer suffer from market variations, particularly in Asia.

With a total production of 31 Mt, the African continent continues to grow, with the help of aid programs set up by state governments and private investment.

For example, Senegal since the 2008 crisis, where the 50 kg bag went from 8,000 FCFA (€12) to more than 20,000 FCFA (€30) and with the support of PRACAS, a recovery and acceleration of the pace of Senegalese agriculture, increased its rice production by nearly 7% on ± 150,000 ha in 2017. Annual consumption exceeds 1.5 Mt and imports are still present and represent ± 70% of the rice consumed and with 90 kg per year and per capita makes it the largest consumer of rice on the continent.

The north of the country where the Senegal River allows irrigation, where other countries are dependent on annual rains, makes this region the breadbasket of the country where we find all the major crops, sugar, tomato, lettuce, eggplant, melon, carrots etc.

With a strong dependence on exports, Senegal had launched in 2008 the National Rice Self-sufficiency Program (Pnar), with the objective of self-sufficiency by 2012. After the change of governance, the "new Pnar" provided for an achievement in 2017, production reached ± 450 Mt and covers ± 57% of needs.

Given these results, the Senegalese government is considering development and production by 2020 of 800 Mt.

A strong incentive to consume local rice is progressing in favor of imported rice, greater use of processing facilities, (24 processing units were set up between 2014 and 2018 in the northern region of Saint Louis – Richard Toll, 36 are present throughout the country) coupled with government measures with SAED and the National Agricultural Credit Fund of Senegal (CNCAS) and a loan of 10 billion CFA francs (€15 million) for producers.

Major industrial groups suffer from the lack of raw materials to process, as more than 400 artisanal processing units process ± 70% of national production.

Since the majority of rice imports are broken rice, the state encourages processing factories to produce more broken rice, thus degrading the quality of rice, it is also a way to reduce imports and increase local consumption.

In 2008 Senegal launched the Great Offensive for Food and Abundance (GOANA), 10 years later the efforts are already bearing fruit

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