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Rice self-sufficiency in Rwanda: policies to ensure it does not remain an elusive goal. FAO Agricultural Development Economics Policy Brief 37

This policy brief presents a snapshot review of how key policies have affected rice in Rwanda in the run up to the Government of Rwanda’s target to become self-sufficient in rice by 2018, while at the same time boosting the commodity’s competitiveness in local and regional markets.

The brief looks at how trade and domestic policies in place have supported and incentivized rice production, why achievement of the self-sufficiency goal by 2018 has however been extremely challenging and how trade barriers (i.e. import tariffs, established to protect the domestic market are likely to impact both the production and consumption of rice in the country) in a scenario of sustained imports growth and production deficit.

Finally, the brief underlines three key policy actions that would help to improve the welfare of domestic rice consumers, to boost demand for local rice in the domestic market against imported rice varieties, and to develop a more efficient and productive sector that could even boost exports of local rice to emerging regional markets.