Do current rice sector trends favour sub-Saharan Africa food security?
Authors: WARDA (African Rice Center) Publisher: Africa Rice Center (WARDA), Benin, 2007
Among the major cereals, rice is the most rapdily growing food source in Africa. However, the self-sufficiency ratio in rice (production over consumption) has been steadily declining since the 1960s, which means the continent is increasingly relying on the international rice market to satisfy its rice consumption needs.
This paper provides a brief overview of the rice sector situation in sub-Saharan Africa. Focusing on recent trends, the report synthesises the sectors development in terms of production, consumption, imports and self-sufficiency. The author argues that the overall characterisation of the rice sector situation in Sub-Saharan Africa is complex due to the diverse status that rice holds for African consumers, the great diversity of ecosystems under which it is grown, the different rice production technologies used and government policies.
Key points include:
- increasing inter-linkages among global agricultural economies and the net importer status of Sub-Saharan Africa have a strong bearing in the rice sector in the region
- current market developments do not bode well for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa
- global rice consumption has been outstripping global rice production since 2002
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