On 1 and 2 October, ECDPM, IPAR and LARES will organise a closed-door workshop on rice sector development and trade policies in West Africa. The event will take place at AfricaRice’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
West African countries rely heavily on overseas rice imports, and the 2008 food prices crisis revealed the risk of this position. West African governments therefore pursued policies aimed at developing the local rice sector and reducing import dependency. Although rice production increased considerably, the availability, affordability and appeal of imported rice continues to outweigh locally-produced rice.
These policies have failed to deliver durable productivity gains and sufficient rice quality management, and also did not adequately address opportunities for trade within the West African region. For competitive, resilient and sustainable rice value chains to develop, it is crucial that agricultural and industrial policies are better aligned with trade policies. However, detailed information and analyses of rice trading dynamics in the region have been in short supply.
With our partners LARES and IPAR we therefore embarked on a project to create a better understanding of rice marketing and regional trading systems in West Africa, as well as their drivers and interlinkages with local and regional rice value chain development. Focus countries include Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Benin and Nigeria.
During the closed-door workshop, we will present the preliminary results of our analysis. We will also invite participants – rice sector analysts and practitioners, trade experts, public administration officers, local and international agri-food policy researchers and actors from the private sector – to share their experiences and help formulate realistic policy recommendations.
This project builds on a longstanding collaboration between ECDPM and a number of West African think tanks – among whom LARES and IPAR – on policy challenges of common interest among West African countries as well as Europe.
The outcomes will contribute to our work on regional value chains, as part of sustainable agri-food systems, and on policy coherence – providing insights on how to put into practice the Africa-Europe policy agenda for rural transformation.
Would you like to know more about the project? Get in touch with Fabien Tondel via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of CTA ACP-EU via Flickr.