Drivers of rice production: evidence from five Sub‑Saharan African countries
Lodin, Johanna Bergman
Djurfeldt, Agnes Andersson
MetadataShow full item record
Background: In spite of considerable rice production gains over the past 50 years, Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming increasingly dependent on rice imports as demand is outpacing domestic supply. The serious economic and social strains caused by this have urged national leaders to address production deficits. The aim of this article is to analyse and discuss the drivers behind recent changes in rice production in Africa South of the Sahara, focusing on Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Mozambique. Considering the period 2002–2008, we model production performance and changes in production amongst 317 rice-growing households using multilevel and longitudinal data. We evaluate and discuss the role of three key processes: the role of commercial drivers, farm technology and macro-level conditions. Results: We show that until 2002, production was driven by a combination of the three key processes considered, while during the period 2002–2008, production increases were primarily associated with area expansion and commercial drivers. This suggests that production lately has been more driven by processes of extensification than intensification. We also note that in none of the periods considered, the share of the state budget allocated to agriculture had a significant effect on production and that recent developments do not give any obvious support for an Asianstyle state-driven Green Revolution in rice in Sub-Saharan Africa. Conclusions: The role of commercialization in explaining changes in production suggests that policies strengthening food staple markets in the sub-continent hold great potential for driving rice production in the near future. Due to the scarcity of available land, the possibilities of further growth in the rice sector are limited without an intensification of production. Hence, farmers also need to access new farm technology, and positive development of rice production would in turn contribute to an improvement of food security.
- Agriculture