Rice now contributes more calories and protein than any other cereal in humid West Africa, and about the same as all roots and tubers combined. In Cameroon, rice is grown in three main ecologies; Upland - 55 %, Irrigated- 25 %and Lowland - 20 %. However, in 2008, only 80,000 MT of milled rice was produced locally far short of the 500,000 MT required to meet national demand. Not only is the quantity of locally produced rice very small, the quality is also a big problem. Locally produced rice is low-grade (high proportion of broken grains), of mixed varieties and contains foreign particles (stones, insect, weed seeds, etc…). Several reasons have been advanced for low productivity of rice in Cameroon. Some of them include poor farm management practices, poor post harvest practices and poor coordination amongst stakeholders in the sector.
WHY IMPLEMENT SUCH A PROJECT?
1. Farmers have insufficient knowledge on improved harvesting and post-harvest operations that guaranty product quality.
2. Farmers and processors have insufficient information and expertise on the production and use of rice-based products and the useful conversion of rice by-products.
3. Rice mills are old, poorly installed and poorly maintained.
4. Millers lack the technical knowhow to repair existing machines. In addition, these machines are of low quality and their parts are not readily available.
5. Lack of stakeholder collaboration along the market chain has undoubtedly hindered productivity.