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Impact simulation of ECOWAS rice self-sufficiency policy

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IFPRI 12 January 2015

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Rice is a strategic commodity for food security in West Africa. Its consumption has grown rapidly over time as a result of population growth, urbanization, and increasing purchasing power. Dependency on imported rice exposes the region to external shocks stemming from the global market. Given its economic and social importance, most countries in West Africa have developed a national strategy for rice development alongside their agricultural sector-wide policy. In addition, the Economic Community of West African States is actively supportive of national strategies under a regional offensive to boost rice production and meet the challenge of rice self-sufficiency in the region by 2025. Our analysis uses economic models to forecast rice consumption, and then simulates the economywide impacts of achieving rice self-sufficiency in West Africa. Results show that per capita consumption of rice is expected to increase from 44 to 53 kilograms on average between 2011 and 2025. Total rice consumption is projected to reach around 24 million metric tons by 2025, increasing by 74 percent over the period 2011–2025. The required average annual increase in production (8 percent) is estimated to be twice that of consumption (4 percent) to achieve the self-sufficiency goal by 2025. Under the regional policy, the rice sector average annual value added growth rate is expected to double, from 6 to 12 percent. As a consequence, rice imports decline and exports improve rapidly to cover the cost of imports by 2025. The regional gross domestic product growth rate is expected to increase by an average of 0.4 percentage point per year relative to the baseline scenario over the period 2015–2025. As real consumption expenditures increase by 14 percent for rice and 4 percent for all food products, the policy is expected to improve food security in the region.


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