Regional Bulk Purchase of Imported Rice Initiative by ECOWAS: A Feasibility Assessment uri icon


  • Rice being the leading source of food energy in West Africa and with all ECOWAS member states being net rice importers, the adverse impact of the 2007-2008 food crisis hit the region very hardly. To mitigate its pervasive effect and prevent future international price shocks on domestic markets of the region, a regional bulk purchase of imported rice was considered by ECOWAS in 2008. In several major rice exporting and importing countries, state trading companies and government- to-government contracts play active roles. Government-to-government rice agreements often involve importing countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and exporting countries such as Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam. In West Africa however, rice is typically imported by each individual country. There is currently no regional instrument for regulating rice imports into West Africa economic regional body like ECOWAS. The trading companies and government-to-government contracts have advantage to permit economies of scale, to increase market power and to reduce transaction costs and uncertainty across stages involved in trading rice in the international market. It becomes therefore imperative for ECOWAS States to implement a regional bulk purchase of imported rice on the international rice market. This

publication date

  • 2012