Ivory Coast eyes rice self-sufficiency with foreign firms’ help

Published: 25 Feb 2014
Côte d’Ivoire is pinning its hopes on foreign companies, like trading giant Louis Dreyfus Commodities, with which it has signed agreements under which the firms will oversee rice output and marketing in 10 production zones.

Reuters | 25 February 2014
PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Ivory Coast aims to end its reliance on imports and become self-sufficient in rice within three years by using foreign firms to drive a jump in output, officials said on Tuesday.
The ambitious plan is part of a $4 billion investment programme in agriculture to 2016 that calls for 2.4 million new jobs, diversification beyond the dominant cocoa sector and greater domestic processing of commodities.
Africa’s dependence on rice imports became marked during a global surge in agricultural commodity prices in 2007-2008 that fuelled protests in some countries.
“What has changed since the crisis of 2007-2008 is the consciousness among African countries that we should exploit our natural potential,” Ivory Coast Agriculture Minister Mamadou Sangofowa Coulibaly told reporters at the annual Paris farm show….

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