logoBC
Yaoundé - 13 August 2020 -
Agriculture

Cameroon imported a “record, hitherto unheard of” 803,505 tons of rice in 2019

Cameroon imported a “record, hitherto unheard of” 803,505 tons of rice in 2019
  • Comments   -   Wednesday, 15 July 2020 15:25

(Business in Cameroon) - In 2019, ten economic operators imported 803,505 tons of rice into Cameroonian territory, according to an official note from the Ministry of Commerce.

This is a "record volume, hitherto unheard of," Trade Minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana said in the note addressed on July 6, 2020, to the president of the Rice Importers Group in Cameroon.

During the period under review, these rice imports largely exceeded national demand, which is estimated at only 576,949 tons by the Ministry of Agriculture for the current 2020 year.

Assuming that national demand was the same in 2019, as it is for 2020, this means that the imports exceeded demands by about 367,266 tons, considering that the projected national production of 140,710 tons in 2020 is consumed locally (a large part of this production is exported to Nigeria).

This sharp increase reveals the persistence of networks that re-export rice from Cameroon into neighbouring countries where operators deem prices to be better than those offered in the local market. This re-exportation scheme gained momentum between 2014 and 2016 when Nigerian authorities hiked rice import tax (110%) to encourage local production.

After this measure, and taking advantage of the tax exemption on rice in Cameroon since the hunger riots of February 2008 (tax restored in 2016), Nigerian importers turned to Benin and Cameroon to buy rice that they smuggle into their country, according to the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN).

As a reminder, rice is the most imported foodstuff in Cameroon. Officially, between 2015 and 2018, the country's rice imports amounted to CFAF 652.6 billion, an average of CFAF 163 billion each year.

To reverse this trend, the government initiated projects aimed at encouraging the production of this cereal. For 2020, for instance, the Ministry of Agriculture has announced a programme to develop an additional 35,700 hectares of the hydro-agricultural perimeter, which will enable the production of at least 350,000 tons of milled rice by 2023. However, this projection is still far below the current national demand.

 Brice R. Mbodiam  

national-bank-of-equatorial-guinea-obtains-business-license-for-its-subsidiary-in-cameroon
Bange Bank Cameroon SA, a subsidiary being set up by the National Bank of Equatorial Guinea (Bange) in Cameroon, was issued a business license by the...
moody-s-confirms-cameroon-s-stable-issuer-rating
On August 7, 2020, Moody’s published a release confirming the stable outlook of Cameroon’s issuer rating.  "The stable outlook reflects Moody's view...
cameroon-and-gabon-to-source-xaf42-bln-on-the-beac-money-market-on-aug12-2020
On August 12, 2020, the Cameronian public treasury will issue new fungible Treasury bills (T-bills) on the securities market of the Bank of Central...
cameroon-ngos-massive-cereal-purchases-inflate-prices-in-the-far-north
In the last few days, it has become hard for residents in the Far North region of Cameroon to purchase maize, sorghum, or millet since the prices of these...

Mags frontpage


Business in Cameroon n90: June 2020

Top 100 economic actors in Cameroon


Colonel Roger Kuitche: “Military strategy is an important tool that will beneft businesses and public administrations”


Investir au Cameroun n100 Juillet-Août 2020

Le Top 100 des acteurs économiques du Camerouns


Colonel Roger Kuitche : « la stratégie militaire appliquée aux entreprises et aux administrations est un outil à exploiter »