ECOWAS RICE FACTBOOK

Published by: Grow Africa Secretariat

Rice is an important staple in West Africa, with consumption set to grow by 70% to 24 million metric tons by 2025. Rice has become a highly strategic commodity in West Africa and is the largest source of food calories in Africa. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries imported around 9 million tons of milled rice in 2014, representing a cost of €4 billion. To avoid risks of civil unrest and the scenarios of increased, global food prices, there is an urgent need to increase rice production, processing, value-addition, and marketing in West Africa to achieve self-sufficiency.

Currently, the region depends on imports from Asia to fulfil about half of its consumption need. ECOWAS initiated a regional offensive to reach rice self-sufficiency by 2025. The Regional Offensive for sustainable and sustained recovery of rice production in West Africa Programme was approved by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers in June 2014. This Offensive aims to reduce imports to zero by 2025.

This factbook and our joint collaborative spirit aims to support the Rice Offensive in order to drive and bolster a regional public-private partnership, which makes self-sufficiency in rice and economic prosperity a reality in West Africa.

This factbook is an initiative of Grow Africa and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The factbook is a briefing document on key rice parameters in the ECOWAS region vis a vis;

  • Statistics on rice consumption, production and imports in ECOWAS countries.
  • Perception of the rice market in the 15 ECOWAS countries.
  • Rice initiatives in ECOWAS countries.
  • Bottlenecks in the rice value chains.
  • Political economy of the rice industry in ECOWAS countries.
  • Regional trade relations.
  • Projection of required investments by private and public sector, AGRA and GROW AFRICA, with proposed entry points.
  • Opportunities and business cases aimed at attracting anchor investors.