ZEF Colloquium on Domestic or imported rice? An analysis of rice demand in Senegal

May 6, 2021 | 13:30 h - 14:30 h

ZEF Colloquium

Speakers: Ndèye Fatou Faye (ISRA), Amy Faye (ZEF) and Mouhamed Rassoul Sy (FAO)
Title: Domestic or imported rice? An analysis of rice demand in Senegal


Rice is one of the three major crops cultivated worldwide, along with wheat and corn. In many developing countries, rice plays a determining role in achieving food security and political stability. In Africa South of the Sahara, rice is the main staple food in many countries, both in urban and rural areas. The high demand for rice, mainly driven by population growth, rising incomes, dietary changes, and urbanization, implies increasing imports in import-dependent countries. West African countries depend for over 40 percent of their rice supplies, on imports, with Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal being the three most import-dependent countries. In Senegal, imports of rice were valued at FCFA 210 billion (318 million dollars) in 2019, putting the country at the second place of rice importers in West Africa and the third place in Africa.
To reduce that dependency, current policies in the country mostly focus on supply-side measures, paying less attention to the demand side, merely assuming local and imported rice are substitutes. However, it is hazardous to aim at cutting rice imports without actually knowing how price relations affect rice expenditures. Therefore, evidence is needed to better understand rice demand in Senegal without which supply-side policies may not succeed. How are rice expenditures affected by prices, income, and household location? In this paper, we seek to answer this question. We first study the determinants of local rice consumption using a double hurdle model. Then, using the QUAIDS model, we estimate price and expenditure elasticities and discuss the degree of substitutability of local and imported rice. We also explore the heterogeneity of demand across rural and urban areas. This study relies on the most recent nationally representative data of 6,328 households, collected as part of the Agricultural Policy Support Project (PAPA) in Senegal.

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