- Country and Sector Background
Senegal is the second largest rice importer in sub- Saharan Africa, ranking tenth in the world. Rice is the main cereal consumed in Senegal, having replaced millet as the most important staple food since the 1970s. In urban households, rice accounts for 54 percent of cereal consumption and 18 percent of total household spending. In poorer rural areas, rice accounts for 24 percent of cereal consumption and as much as 25 percent of total household spending. Rice consumption in the country has drastically increased over the last decade, with per capita consumption currently estimated at 84 kg per year compared to 71 kg in 1999. In response to the 2008 food crisis in Senegal, an Additional Financing for Food Security (AFFS) in an amount of $10 million was prepared in support to increased rice production in light of high volatility of rice prices, vulnerability of country’s trade balance as well as importance of auto-consumption for marginal rice producers. The AFFS was designed as an additional financing and build on institutional arrangements of the ongoing Phase I of the Agricultural Markets and Agribusiness Program (PDMAS). Activities included: (i) the rehabilitation of irrigation perimeters in the Senegal River Valley; and (ii) the promotion of intensive rice production in the Bignona Valley. Both operations were funded under the umbrella of the Global Food Crisis Response Program with the financial support of IDA. However, the limited resources under the AFFS are not sufficient to cover major needs in the rehabilitation of rice-growing irrigation perimeters, the improvement of rice marketing conditions and the strengthening of livestock production systems.