Benin Aims to Increase Paddy Rice Production to 1M Tonnes

In Benin, rice is the second most consumed cereal after corn. The country, which still imports almost half of its consumption needs, wants to accelerate the development of local production.

In Benin, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries aims to increase national paddy rice production to 1 million tonnes by the end of 2025, compared with a stock of 531,000 tonnes harvested in 2022. The announcement was made in a press release issued on August 11.

The initiative is part of the Stratégie Nationale de Développement la Riziculture-deuxième génération (SNDR 2) implemented since 2019 by the Agence territoriale en charge du développement du pôle agricole numéro 1 (ATDA 1). This agricultural cluster includes the communes of Malanville and Karimama in the north of the country, which account for around 30% of the cereal supply.

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“The stated ambition is unequivocal: to produce enough rice to guarantee food security, improve the incomes of all players in the sector, ensure social well-being and have an impact on Gross National Product and the national economy,” reads the press release.

To achieve this, the executive intends to step up its support, notably through mechanization assistance and the supply of sufficient inputs, to help producers increase the area under rice cultivation to 215,000 hectares over the next two years, compared with 126,700 hectares in 2021.

The authorities are also counting on an increase in yield to an average of 5 tonnes per hectare, compared with 3.5 tonnes at present. Benin’s rice-growing potential is estimated at around 375,000 hectares, but only 21% of this is currently exploited, according to official figures.

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