PART III – POLICY RESPONSES IN TRADITIONAL IMPORTING COUNTRIES
Chapter 8, p. 143
Historically, rice production in Africa has tended to be low-yielding, geographically dispersed and uncompetitive against low-cost Asian imports, even when protected by high freight costs and substantial trade barriers. Skyrocketing prices in world markets, however, were a shock to African consumers, producers and governments alike, and numerous initiatives have been announced to stimulate rice production on the continent (Inter-réseaux Développement Rural, 2008).
Although most African countries produce at least small amounts of rice, we focus here on the rice economy of West Africa and its response to the 2007–2008 food crisis. The West African rice industry has deep historical roots. The West African Rice Development Authority (WARDA) was founded in 1971. The classic commodity-system analysis of the West African rice economy by Pearson et al was published in 1981. The IRRI has undertaken collaborative research on rice varieties suitable for West African conditions for decades.