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Rice is a strategic sector for food security and nutrition in Senegal . At the instigation of the Government, the sector has seen a clear consolidation in recent years , with a considerable increase in production volumes.

Rice occupies a prime place in the consumption habits of Senegalese people. In addition, population growth and increasing urbanization have significantly increased the consumption needs of this commodity, leading Senegal to resort to massive imports which reached a net value of CFAF 189.27 billion in 2016, ie 966 498 tonnes imported (source: NACE (Economic Situation Analysis Note), 2016), with an average consumption of 80 kg / year per inhabitant, making Senegal one of the largest rice consumers in Africa .

Rice alone accounts for almost 10% of the trade balance and this phenomenon tends to increase over time as domestic production is growing at a slower rate than consumption, which it only partly covers. Practiced under rain or under irrigation, rice growing, a national issue, is generating a growing enthusiasm among producers, despite the economic difficulties.

The Senegalese Agricultural Acceleration Program (PRACAS) aims at self-sufficiency in rice, among other objectives. PRACAS is being implemented to promote the production of high quality white rice in Senegal, with a target of 1.8 million tonnes, of which 1.6 million paddy rice in the short term. The total cost of PRACAS is about 74 billion CFA francs.

The gap to be filled, to satisfy the national demand for white rice, is covered by imports, which weigh heavily on Senegal’s trade balance and poses, in the process, a real problem of food sovereignty.

To reverse this trend, the State Authorities have launched the Senegalese Agriculture Rate Acceleration Program (PRACAS) which, in its rice component, aims to boost rice production in all production zones (River Valley). Senegal, Anambe Basin , rainfed rice areas).

Thus, the promotion of local rice growing to meet national demand is a strategic option of the State, reinforced by the uncertainties of the international rice market and the exceptional potential of Senegal in natural resources (abundance of water resources, land suitable to rice cultivation, favorable climate for two crops per year).

Rice imports have decreased significantly between 2016 and 2015 (- 2.77% in volume), thanks in particular to the upscaling and qualitative and quantitative leap made by local producers, which considerably overcomes the significant needs for rice. imports, mainly from Southeast Asia. Added to this is the consumption habits of the Senegalese population with a strong recent trend to consume local rice broken, local producers have now a real mastery of process innovative transformation of agribusiness.



Thanks to abundant land resources conducive to agricultural production and water potential of agriculture in Senegal is widely recognized, particularly in the rice sector. The successful models of recent years provide ample evidence of the existing capacity of Senegalese and foreign private farmers in rice farming. Climatic and soil conditions throughout the country present an excellent environment for rice production:

  • the natural environment gives the Senegal proved an advantage compared to many countries, including some exporting countries including Senegal’s client (climatic instability in Southeast Asia, etc.);
  • the rice has generated since its introduction, interest growing among farmers. This membership has continued to be confirmed regardless of the status and motivations of the producer, the rice ecosystems and cropping systems, and despite the economic difficulties;
  • a synergy Summer established with leading development organizations, among others, the introduction of plant material with high yield potential (the Sahel varieties)

in economic terms, the cost of local rice has become competitive compared to that of imported rice, and progress margins still exist. At the same time, quality has improved a lot, thus increasing its demand at the national level.



Rice growing is an important part of socio-economic development in Senegal underpinned by agricultural production in quantity and quality. A local production and mastered performance would allow Senegal to enjoy opportunities on proven creditworthy markets both domestic and foreign.

The creation of an attractive environment to attract the interest of the private sector in the development of the rice sector, the production of quality rice, increase productivity and rice production in order to achieve a l self-sufficiency are major challenges for the Senegalese State and the actors in the sector.

The climate conducive to the double rotation of rice crops, the gradual return of multilateral technical and financial partners who are investing more and more in rice farming and the current context of the international rice market constitute great opportunities to be seized.

Optimizing the distribution of local rice necessarily means adapting production to the demands of the Senegalese consumer. Today rice imports are conditioned by highly volatile rice prices, in addition to banking conditions, and these factors play a large role in importers’ pricing. Given the importance and dynamism of the domestic market, there are real investment opportunities in the sector, including:

  • In the development of agroindustrial units for paddy rice production;
    • In the processing of rice for consumption, according to sound models.

In the end, the self-sufficiency in rice appears as a stake of: sovereignty and food security aiming at particular reduction of the deficit of the trade balance.