The state of rice value chain upgrading in West Africa
- Global Food Security
- Following the food price crisis in 2008, African governments implemented policies aiming at crowding in investment in rice value chain upgrading to help domestic rice compete with imports. We assess the state of rice value chain upgrading in West Africa by reviewing evidence on rice millers’ investment in semi-industrial and industrial milling technologies, contract farming and vertical integration during the post-crisis period 2009–2019. We find that upgrading is more dynamic in countries with high rice production and import bills and limited comparative advantage in demand. However, scaling of upgrading faces several challenges in terms of vertical coordination, technology, finance and policies. Our assessment can help value chain actors and policy makers refine upgrading strategies and policies to increase food security in West Africa.