In 2014, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) launched the Rice Offensive to sustainably realise West Africa’s rice production potential and fulfil its consumption needs. The region remains highly dependent on overseas rice imports, which fulfill about 50% of the consumption needs of ECOWAS countries. Six years after, representatives of the ECOWAS and actors from the private sector will convene in Abuja on 4 and 5 February to discuss national and regional strategies to boost the rice sector in West Africa. The meeting is a precious opportunity to tackle thorny issues around the regulation of rice markets.
Early findings from an ongoing research project on rice marketing and trade in West Africa, done jointly by ECDPM and IPAR, offer clues on how trade and markets could better serve the purpose of this regional initiative.
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