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USDA GAIN: Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed

16 April 2012

USDA GAIN: 2012 West Africa Rice Annual 2012USDA GAIN: 2012 West Africa Rice Annual 2012

Post estimates milled rice production for MY (Oct - Sept) 2011/12 at 3.6 million tons, a 13 percent decline from the previous year, and forecasts 4.3 million tons for MY 2012/13, if rainy conditions are favorable. Most national rice program targets are not met so Post believes that rice imports will continue to increase to meet demand. Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire may import more than 1.8 million tons in (MY 2011/12) representing 53 percent of selected West African countries.
USDA GAIN Report - Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed

Late start of the rainy season which delayed planting as well as irregular rainfall impacted cereal production across the Sahel putting pressure on local prices and meeting food consumption needs. The MY 2011/12 (Oct - Sept) milled rice production is estimated at 3.6 million tons (see Table 1) representing a 13 percent decrease from the previous year.

However, if normal rainfall returns, Post forecasts MY 2012/13 rice production to rebound close to previous levels for West Africa (see Table 1).

Post believes that imports will increase to cover lack of local rice production and population growth. For MY 2011/12, rice import is estimated at 3.3 million tons, a 9 percent increase compared to previous year MY 2010/11.


Rice, Milled


MY 2011/12 milled rice production is estimated at 3.6 million tons while MY 2012/13 is forecast to rebound to 4.3 million tons. Senegal, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire represent 52 percent of the total production in MY 2011/12. MY 2011/12 rice production is estimated to drop by 24 percent for Mali, 27 percent for Senegal, 16 percent for Niger, and 12 percent for Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso

Like its neighbors, Burkina Faso saw a drop in MY 2011/12 milled rice production to 157,000 tons, or 12 percent, from MY 2010/11. However, Post forecasts the MY 2012/13 campaign to bounce back to 220,000 tons if normal rainfall returns. Burkina Faso is characterized by three different systems of rice production with most production lying in the west and east-central provinces as well as the Mouhoun. This coincides with areas least affected by rainfall because of the availability of irrigation.

The Department of Forecasting Agricultural and Food Statistics (Direction de la Prospective et des Statistiques Agricoles et Alimentaires) (DPSAA) has partnered with FAO’s Monitoring African Food and Agricultural Policies Project (MAFAP) to monitor and analyze food and agricultural policies in Burkina Faso. DPSAA employs 784 interviewers and 100 controllers with GPS devices to capture data accurately and even provides its staff with manuals to ensure surveying consistency.

Rice makes up 7 percent of total cereal production in Burkina Faso. Irrigated rice is the most popular form of rice production accounting for 50 percent of rice production and 25 percent of irrigated hectares. This is the most efficient mode of production which enables total control of the water, double cropping and annual yields ranging from 4 - 7 tons/hectare (ha). Lowland rice (or bas-fond) is the most practiced form of production in all regions of the country with yields ranging from 800 kgs - 3 tons/ha. Finally, upland rice, which is strictly rain-fed, contributes the least to national production with average yields of 1 ton/ha.

The General Directorate of Plant Production or Direction Generale des Productions Vegetales (DGPV) has a new program for the promotion of rain-fed rice called Rain-fed Rice Project (Projet Riz Pluvial) (PRP) to increase cultivation of lowland rice. The project has two phases during which the first increased area to 1,500 ha and the second (which began in 2009) to 7,500 ha. The second phase (2009-2013) is being funded in part by the Taiwanese government.

The project provides inputs and credit for the first year, and it is up to the farmer to repay loans and continue to receive inputs and credit. For every hectare, PRP provides 50 kg of seeds, 150 kg of NPK, and 100 kg urea. For every 100 hectares of rice, PRP constructs a warehouse, grain bins and a place to dry the rice.

Cote d’Ivoire

Ivorian agriculture suffered from the civil war and post electoral crisis. About 200,000 people left the country during the post electoral crisis, and thousands were displaced. Area planted and harvests are recovering slowly, but farmers are still facing lack of assistance from extension services (mainly in the North) and manual labor. Comite Permanent Inter-états Lutre contre la Sècheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS) estimated MY 2011/12 milled rice production at 386,000 tons with no significant change compared to MY 2010/11 (397,000 tons).

Cote d’Ivoire has fallen short of its goals under the 2008 National Development Strategy of the Rice Sector (SNDR) which aimed to increase milled rice production by 200,000 tons each year by 2012. The National Office of Development of The Rice Sector (ONDR) was created in July 2010 but was only functional after the post electoral crisis. It revised the rice sector strategy and extended it for the period 2012-2020 with the goal of reaching two million tons of milled rice to cover national demand and export surpluses. This strategy was developed by the ONDR and will be adopted at ministerial council in February or March 2012. It consists of:

  • improving seeds quality by using certified seeds to increase yields by up to 30 percent
  • rehabilitating low land
  • improving irrigated systems
  • developing hydro-agricultural areas
  • improving rice processing capacity
  • increasing number of seed packaging centers

Post believes that the program may be difficult to accomplish considering all the prior work that needs to be done before production, i.e., reorganize and build capacity of the extension service, create seed packaging centers and rehabilitate land.


The MY 2011/2012 campaign was characterized by irregular rains at the start of the planting season and earlier cessation of rainfall which led to lower rice production compared to the previous year. This situation affected most producing areas along the banks of the Niger River between Segou and Mopti.

CILSS estimated a 24 percent decrease in rice production. Post believes that MY 2011/12 milled rice production should be 1.2 million tons. Mali is still far from reaching the target set by the national strategy program that aims to push paddy rice production to 2.7 million tons by 2013 and 3.9 million tons by 2018 on 1.1 million hectares using rain-fed, total water control and floating rice production systems. As with many other west African countries, self sufficiency is unreachable so rice imports play an important role in food security.


Senegal local rice is produced on irrigated land (70 percent) in the Senegal River Valley (SRV) and the basin of Anambe and on rain-fed upland (30 percent) in the regions of Fatick, Ziguinchor, Sedhiou, Kolda, Tambacounda and Kedougou. The government of Senegal (GOS) is increasing irrigation infrastructures to increase rice production in the SVR in partnership of donors, i.e., the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) which signed a $540 million grant with the GOS of which $170 million will be used to help irrigate and desalinate as much as 36,500 hectares of land in the SVR. The bulk of the studies have been completed and first tenders have been put on the market for construction. In the course of 2012 remaining studies will be completed, resettlement needs addressed, and construction of irrigation works (pump stations, canals, and embankments) will begin.

MY 2011/12 agricultural campaign was very poor due to late rains that affected planting and discourage farmers who abandoned their fields after many trials. Therefore, area planting decreased (26 percent) and yield was lower (4-5 tons per hectare). Typically, yields reach as high as 7 tons per hectare (ha) for irrigated rice, but this year yields were much lower due to short, sporadic rainy season, delayed inputs, and birds eating seeds on fields. Unfortunately, Senegalese rice farmers are addicted to subsidized inputs so delays in agreements between the suppliers and the government on the prices means farmers delay input purchases to the detriment of yields. MY 2011/12 milled rice production decreased 27 percent (300,000 tons) compared to previous year (411,000 tons). GOS‘s strategy to increase milled rice production to 1 million tons by 2015 has not been met. Only 30 percent of the GOS’s target will be reached this MY 2011/12 despite government, donors and private sector efforts.

Post recently met with a 2009 upstart rice producer and with modern milling capacity, VITAL, owned by a Senegalese entrepreneur, who purchased 6,000 hectares near the city of Richard Toll of which 20 hectares are in production. VITAL is buying rice to mill and sell in the Dakar market under the brand RIXEL (rice excellence). The mill is operating at 50 tons per day and 2,600 tons per month. They have constructed 4 kilometers of a grand canal bringing the Senegal River to its lands and will construct 5 more kilometers to reach the rest of the farm as it plans to expand by 100 hectares per year.

Unfortunately, the soil is very sandy and not well-suited for rice production so production might be diverted to fruits and vegetables in the future.


Average per capita consumption in the Sahel, using official population figures, is only estimated to increase 2 percent in MY 2011/12 (6.7 million tons) compared to the previous year (6.8 million tons).

Burkina Faso

There is a shift in consumption from traditional cereals to rice, as people prefer its cooking qualities and minimal preparation time. NERICA is a preferred type of rice for consumers. Most rice consumed is 25 percent broken and, unexpectedly, the more wealthy consumers prefer 100 percent broken. Some parboiled rice is produced and consumed in the rural areas.

Rice is the fourth most popular household staple after millet, sorghum and maize. Each year, Burkina Faso spends about 40 billion CFA francs to import rice. Imported rice is preferred because it is less expensive and it swells more when cooked because of better drying techniques in Asia. The need for domestic consumption of rice is estimated at 400,000 - 450,000 tons per year. However, production covers only about 40 percent of consumption needs which have grown from 18.1 kg/person in 2000 to 21 kg/person 2011 in most areas with 50 kg/person in urban centers.

Cote d’Ivoire

The ONDR estimates Cote d’Ivoire’s MY 2011/12 rice consumption at 1.5 million tons (63 kg per capita per year) and MY 2012/2013 consumption at 1.6 million while Post believes it may only reach 1.3 million tons in MY 2011/12 and 1.4 million tons in MY 2012/13.

National rice production has increased annually 4 percent while the annual growth rate for consumption increased by 6 percent. Rice is the most consumed staple food after corn (40 kg per capita per year) and wheat (17 kg per capita per year). Rice imports increase about 9 percent annually to cover demand.

Consumer’s preference for rice depends on levels of economic and social well-being of the population. Four percent of the population living in the urban area consumes 0-15 percent broken rice while the 16-25 percent broken rice is mainly consumed by 70 percent of the population living in the rural area. Only 25 percent of the population consumes more than 25 percent broken rice.


Malians have a preference for the local rice which is the most popular cereal consumed in urban areas. Rice consumption is estimated to reach 1.5 million tons in MY 2011/12 and 1.6 million tons in MY 2012/13.

Rice is the most consumed cereal in urban areas. In Bamako, more than half of consumption is satisfied by imports. Rural populations like imported rice which is estimated to reach 200,000 tons in MY 2011/12. Rice is mainly brought in from Cote d’Ivoire by train or truck in 50 kg bags. Very few quantities are imported from Senegal.


Per capita consumption is 84 kg per year, and rice consumption is forecasted to reach 1.16 million tons in MY 2011/12 and 1.18 million tons in MY 2012/13. To promote greater consumption of local rice in city centers traditionally dominated by imported rice by contracting importers/distributors with local millers and producers, Senegal recently created the Society for Promotion and Commercialization of Rice in Senegal (la Société de promotion et de commercialisation du riz au Sénégal) (SPCRS). SPCRS is working with women’s groups to identify purchasing preferences to learn how to better market local rice.


Post forecasts a 16 percent increase in rice imports for MY 2011/2012 compared to previous year and stable imports in MY 2012/13. West Africa imports will represent 51 percent of its rice consumption and needs in MY 2011/12. Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire may account for 58 percent of total imports while Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Mauritania are less dependent on the imported rice market.

NOTE: For information on cross-border flows of agricultural products, we recommend reading the USAID funded report, Cross-border Trade and Food Security in West Africa: Case of the Western Basin (2009).

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso imports 60 percent of consumption needs at about 40 billion CFA ($80 million) worth of rice. Importers purchase about 250,000 tons of rice each year from Pakistan, India, Thailand and Vietnam in 25kg and 50kg bags and via the ports of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo. During the dry months, rice is typically imported from Mali, Benin, Togo, and Ghana.

The Inter-Professional Committee for Rice Production in Burkina Faso (Comite Inter Professionnel Du Riz Du Burkina) (CIR-B) is a non-profit, non-state association founded in 2001 in Bobo-Dioulasso to coordinate the interaction between all actors in the rice sector: Producers, traders, millers, and transporters. CIR-B promotes, defines, and manages agreements and contracts between members and is headed by a general assembly made up of 50 percent producers, 20 percent millers, 20 percent traders, and 10 percent transporters. CIR-B also organizes all necessary meetings, trainings, advising producers, assists in controlling quality, and diffuses economic information to its members.

Cote d’Ivoire

About 80 percent of rice consumed in Cote d’Ivoire is imported. Thailand remains the largest supplier (50 percent) followed by Vietnam (33 percent), Myanmar (10 percent), and Pakistan (2 percent). U.S. rice represents less than 1 percent of long grain rice imports.

Côte d’Ivoire imports about 1.1 million tons of rice in which 100,000 tons is re-exported by train or road to Burkina Faso and Mali (25 percent broken rice), and Ghana (5 percent broken rice).

Rice is imported in bulk (cargo rice – similar to brown rice) or prepackaged in 50 kg, 25 kg and 5 kg bags. Imports are monopolized by large companies, and customs duties are set at five percent for all grades imported from non-WAEMU countries.


Mali imports about 17 percent of its needs by two to three main rice importers mainly from Cote d’Ivoire by train or truck and from Dakar by train. Post believes that imports could reach 200,000 tons in MY 2011/12 based on the deficit of rice produced this year. In January 2012, CILSS reported a 25 percent increase on local rice price compared to the same period in 2011.


Senegal imports about 70 percent of its rice for domestic consumption. Senegalese prefer 100 percent broken rice which is mainly imported from Asia. In trade year (TY –Jan-Dec) 2011, rice was the top agricultural product imported in Senegal representing 39 percent ($363.5 million) followed by wheat (20 percent) and sugar beet or cane (6 percent). Thailand (36 percent), Vietnam (30 percent) and Brazil (13 percent) are the top suppliers. The US supplied only 5 percent of total imports (41,000 tons). Rice imports in TY 2011 increased 17 percent (805,000 tons) compared to TY 2010 (686,000 tons).

At the moment, there is no fragrant rice stock in the country. It is the favorite rice for people living in urban area imported from Thailand. This rupture is due not only from the recent flooding that destroyed rice crops and reduced supply for export but also Thai government imposing new pricing for fragrant rice. GOS is anticipating any out-of-stock supply of imported rice by ordering non-fragrant rice which is cheaper from other countries.

In TY 2011, Senegal exported 23,000 tons of rice in Turkey (18,250 tons), Guinea (3,000 tons), and Mali (1,300 metric tons).

Thirteen private companies share the market with the largest controlling 24 percent of the market. Importers buy shiploads of rice through a cluster of twelve brokers located in Switzerland rather than directly from exporting countries, which they then store in their own warehouses in Dakar compared to smaller importers that deal with container-sized transactions.

In Senegal, tariffs on rice vary according to grade. Customs duties are set at 10 percent for all grades. There is no surtax on broken rice, which fixes its maximum tariff at 12.7 percent compared to 27.7 percent for brown rice and 32.7 percent for semi-milled rice. There is no VAT applied to rice imports.


Governments continue to encourage local rice production to reach self-sufficiency. However the first strategies developed in 2008 after the food crisis did not reach targets. The objective was to produce 1 million tons of milled rice by 2012 (Senegal), increase milled production 200,000 tons annually by 2012 (Cote d’Ivoire) and increase production by 50 percent from MY 2008/09 campaign to achieve self sufficiency (Mali). Today, strategies are being redesigned. However, Post believes they are ambitious and difficult to reach. Therefore Post believes that rice imports will continue to occur over the next coming years to meet demand.

Faced with the crisis in 2008, Burkina Faso chose to boost rice production and its efforts have yielded satisfactory results. Indeed, the area harvested has more than doubled and production has nearly tripled since the 2007/08 campaign.


Burkina Faso

There is a lack of infrastructure for storage, and farmers are often obligated to sell to the first buyer to come along. Consumers see imported rice as better quality and consumption is continuing to rise putting upward pressure on the price. As displaced populations move throughout the Sahel, they bring with them different preferences and consumption demands.

Cote d’Ivoire

The Revised National Development Strategy for the Rice Sector in Cote d’Ivoire (SNDR) plans to market local rice using the current distribution channel of rice importers. A quantity of local rice will be distributed to importers and progressively substitute imported rice. SNDR aims to promote local rice quality during promotion days. They will be organized by women’s organizations in 5,300 school feeding canteens.

The Cote d’Ivoire network of distribution consists of importers and distributors (wholesaler, semi-wholesaler and retailer) through modern (supermarkets/ hypermarkets) and traditional (open markets, small shops) channels.

There are about 10 major rice importers in Cote d’Ivoire. The Societe de distribution de toutes merchandises (SDTM) is the leader importing more than half of market share and working with distributors across the country. It is a Lebanese owned company with a long presence in Cote d’Ivoire.

Rice can be imported by bulk or already packaged. It is then sold in country of exported to neighboring countries (Mali, Ghana, and Burkina Faso).

The Establishment Sylla et Frères (ESF) is considered the leader in the distribution offering different types of packaging depending on type of rice, i.e., luxury, semi-luxury, and broken ranging from bags of 5x5 kg to 50 kg.

Recently, new Indian operators have entered the scene at all steps of the distribution channels (importers, wholesalers, semi wholesalers, and retailers) including supply rice in credit to retailers.


Mali needs to improve rice processing technology to prevent high levels of loss and post harvest techniques to increase quality of milled paddy rice, especially if Mali envisions exporting rice in the sub region.

The main actors in the rice sector includes farmers, mini rice millers, and collectors (who usually purchase rice either at the farm gate or in the weekly markets in major production zones and transport it to major market centers), wholesaler/importers, semi-wholesalers, and market retailers/sorters (located in open-air markets or in neighboring store fronts and purchase rice from rice collectors or semi-wholesalers in the capital).

Rice is at different channels:

  • At the production site
  • Traditional small-scale trade channel representing the largest channel (80 percent of the total trade quantity)
  • Industrial rice milling channel
  • Farmer association channel
  • Mini rice mill channel
  • Commercial farm channel


The Societe de Promotion et de Commercialisation du Riz au Senegal (SPCRS), created in November 2010, aims to improve local rice quality according to consumer preference, develop national distribution channels, and reinforce the national effort to promote local produced food. The partners include private importers, farmer associations and rice millers.

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