Outcomes of dialogue on rice sector development and trade policies in West Africa

This briefing notes presents the outcomes of a dialogue on rice sector development and trade policies in West Africa, organised by ECDPM and IPAR on 22 October 2020.

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    Last October, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and the Initiative Prospective agricole et rurale (IPAR), with the support of Intervalle, organised a webinar on the role of trade policies in the development of rice value chains in West Africa, a key sector for agriculture and food policies in the region. This note summarises the discussions and presents proposals.

    The views of participants from both the public and private sectors showed that some countries have made more progress than others in setting up mechanisms to regulate rice markets and in promoting competitive and inclusive value chains. This entailed measures and interventions linking stricter regulation of imports to the structuring of domestic markets and support to producers. But these initiatives face obstacles, particularly a lack of clear and robust regulatory mechanisms.

    Various participants agreed that developing sustainably the rice sector requires a common and coordinated approach among the countries of the subregion. The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) could support national initiatives to regulate and promote the sector while also facilitating exchanges of experiences between countries and strengthening the links between national and regional policies. The development of regulation systems for the rice sector requires durable institutional arrangements that help to de-compartmentalise the formulation and implementation of public policies.

    Photo courtesy of CTA ACP-EU via Flickr

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