(Business in Cameroon) - Last year, Cameroon invested CFA183.7 billion to import 728,443 tons of rice, the National Statistics Institute (INS) said. This reflects an increase by 27.9% in value and 18.6% in volume, compared to 2016, despite the application of customs duties since January 2016.
“Over the past years, Cameroonian importers have been sourcing mainly from Thailand as prices per kg were more competitive compared to other Asian countries,” INS indicated adding that until then, prices had been almost stable at around $500 per ton. However, the unit import price increased recently by 7.9% to CFA252.2 per kilogram. Asia is Cameroon’s main rice supplier (99.8%) and key providers include Thailand (85%), India (7%) and Myanmar (2%).
Back in 2000, the country imported 552,472 tons of rice for CFA156.6 billion. During the peak year 2013, rice import stood at 819,841 tons for CFA212.6 billion, according to INS.
In Cameroon, paddy rice production increased by 12% to 311,674 tons in 2016, upon the continued extension of rainfed rice cultivation and the distribution of chemical fertilizers. However, much of the local production is exported.