(Business in Cameroon) - The Cameroonian government is currently working on a strategy to bring local rice production to 750,000 tons by 2030. The Minister of Agriculture, Gabriel Mbairobe (pictured), has just closed a workshop in that regard in Mbankomo, Yaoundé.
The volume is first expected to reach 450,000 tons by 2025, from the current 100,000 tons, and 750,000 tons five years later. “We want to satisfy national consumption and modernize rice production. Today, only plowing is mechanized. So we plan to modernize the harvest, storage, and hulling so that we increase the national supply,” explained Minister Mbairobe.
The strategy is based on the promotion of activities and multi-faceted support aimed at intensifying the cultivation of irrigated and rainfed rice. It benefits from the support of Japan, which is already involved in the Rainfed Rice Development Project (Proderip). The new strategy is in line with the import-substitution policy developed by authorities.
Let's recall that Cameroon recently received about CFA52 billion from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to implement the Rice Value Chain Development Program. All these efforts will allow the government to drastically reduce the rice import bill. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS), in the first half of 2021, rice alone accounted for 5% of the total imports, which overall amounted to CFA1,824 billion for 5.07 million tons of goods. For this year, rice import is expected to be 400,000 tons.
The government has put in place incentives for imports, especially in the current global context marked by general inflation.
Written by Brice R. Mbodiam
Translated from French by Firmine AIZAN