Date of Graduation

12-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Eric Wailes

Committee Member

Jeroen Buysse

Second Committee Member

Alvaro Durand-Morat

Keywords

East Africa, Food Security, Rice, Self-sufficiency

Abstract

The 2008 food crisis prompted many food importing nations to reconsider the need to be self-sufficient especially in their staple food needs. This awakening led to the launch of the Coalition for Africa Rice Development (CARD) initiative with a goal to double rice production in Africa. Under the CARD umbrella member countries drafted individual National Rice Development Strategies (NRDS). This study is a quantitative assessment of four East African countries’ NRDS: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda within dynamic global rice economy models. The NRDS targets and strategies are not realistic and included under estimation of rice consumption for Kenya, an incorrect rice production area for Tanzania and overly ambitious production targets for Rwanda and Uganda. Under a business-as-usual scenario, based on historical baseline projections none of the four countries will attain rice self-sufficiency by 2018. Furthermore the area expansions and yield improvements required to attain self-sufficiency in these countries (with the exception of Tanzania) are unprecedented and highly unlikely to be achieved by the end of 2018. Imposing self-sufficiency through elimination of long grain rice imports would penalize the consumers extremely through high price increases and consequently rice consumption shrinkage in the four countries. In order to attain self-sufficiency without hurting consumers would require sizable improvements of production efficiency. Alternatively the governments could use output price subsidies to boost production, but the cost would be very large and unrealistic particularly for Kenya. This study concludes that attaining rice self-sufficiency in these countries in the intermediate time horizon is unrealistic. Very large changes in resource allocation, productivity, and consumption trends will be required. It is however important to note that the results obtained in this study may be extremely valued as they are generated within a partial equilibrium framework and may be less dramatic if a general equilibrium framework was used.

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